Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Randy Moss on a one-year deal Monday evening. The signing of Moss should put to an end the notion that the 49ers will make a run at Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, should the two sides not reach a long term deal by the start of free agency Tuesday evening.
The 49ers have not kept it a secret that they could be in the market for a receiver to help stretch the field and it appears that Moss will now be that player. With the 49ers now almost certainly out of the running for Wallace it means that only the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals remain as the two teams that could logically make a run at Wallace, as both teams have two first round picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Just because both teams are potential players for Wallace does not mean they will be though. In fact the odds are against either doing so.
As expected, Wallace was officially tendered on Monday at a first round level and that means it would cost another team their first round pick to sign him away should the Steelers choose not to match the offer sheet. As far as contract talks between the Steelers and Wallace go, Pittsburgh Post Gazette beat writer Gerry Dulac reported Monday afternoon on Twitter that the Steelers have already had discussions with Wallace\’s agent, Bus Cook, but that a new deal is still a long way away. Perhaps the news that the 49ers will no longer be a player now for the services of Wallace will speed up the negotiations.
As I posted several times previously, general manager Kevin Colbert and the Steelers have held the advantage in these negotiations throughout the offseason and that advantage was strengthened even more with announcement of Moss signing with the 49ers Monday evening. Wallace runs a huge risk of having to play 2012 on his one-year tender should he choose not to sign a new deal very soon.