Sunday night was the start of the 2012 regular season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was also the start of the long-standing policy of the Steelers to not negotiate contracts with players during the season.
It has been made plain and clear today that wide receiver Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh organization will not continue long-term contract talks. These negotiations will continue once the Steelers’ season ends.
Because of the decision to sit out the entire offseason and preseason, the Pro Bowl receiver will just have to settle for the $2.7 million that the Steelers will pay him this season.
Right now, the best way for Wallace to get his multi-year contract is to perform at, or beyond the level in which he played over the last two seasons.
In yesterday’s lose to the Denver Broncos, the four-year veteran started at receiver, despite only having 12 days to get acclimated to a new playbook, and finished the game with four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
If in fact Wallace does perform well this season, it isn’t guaranteed that he’ll get the contract that he is seeking. Pittsburgh does have the option of slapping the franchise tag on Wallace in 2013, which will be worth approximately $11 million.
In the event that Wallace and general manager Kevin Colbert don’t come to a common ground by March, then the speedy receiver will become an unrestricted free agent.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Wallace brought this all on himself. If it was money that he wanted, then he should have gotten up and went after it when the opportunity presented itself (and it came about numerous times).
Now not only won’t he get his long-term deal this season, but also it’s a strong possibility that he won’t get it next season as well. Although $11 million is a lot of money, Wallace missed out on a grand opportunity for much more.
Yes, he may get the contract that he wants, but I feel that if he does, more than likely it will be with another team; and chances are that the team that he goes to will be much worse than the Steelers.
So with that being said, I think that Wallace will eventually get the chance to see how it feels to get a long-term contract. But if he wants to get an indication of how it feels right now, he doesn’t have to go far. All he has to do is ask Antonio Brown.
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