No New Contract For Mike Wallace As 2012 Free Agency Period Begins

Despite my optimism that the Pittsburgh Steelers would reach a new contract agreement with wide receiver Mike Wallace before the start of the 2012 NFL free agency period, that seems not to be the case. At 4 p.m. eastern time today there was no news of a new deal so Wallace is now officially a restricted free agent that is wearing a first round restricted tender offer of $2.742 million.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said in his 2011 season wrap up interview that signing Wallace would be a priority as the Steelers headed off into the offseason. The Steelers have reportedly had contract talks with Wallace and his agent Bus Cook over the course of the last few months, but no new deal seems to be on the horizon right now.

The first round tender means that Wallace is now allowed to accept offer sheets from other teams and the Steelers will have the right of first refusal to match any offer made. Should they decide not to match the exact parameters of the offer sheet, they would receive a first round draft pick as compensation from the team that signs him away.

There had been three primary teams that could likely be in the running to sign Wallace to an offer sheet, but with the San Francisco 49ers signing of Randy Moss on Monday, it could realistically be down to just the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals as the two teams best suited to offer Wallace a front loaded deal that the Steelers would not be able to match and also be willing to give up one of their two first round draft picks that each has in 2012.

The deadline for a team to sign Wallace to an offer sheet is April 20th, but one would figure if Wallace were to get in offer it would come in the first week of free agency.

  • Randy Steele

    Huh? It makes no sense for the Steelers to negotiate a contract with Wallace at this point. They would essentially be bidding against themselves, or bidding against what they fear other teams would pay Wallace.

    Wait until Wallace gets an offer–if in fact he does–and go from there.

  • Joe D

    Looks like 5 years and 40 million is the number…
    I said that two weeks ago…

    But, it wouldn’t surprise me if they just sign him to the Tender….
    doubtful anyone will give up a 1st round pick and 40million…

    so, in the end…
    2.7 million for 2012…
    Franchise tag for 2013…
    see ya later for 2014 or that is when they give him a 3-5 year deal.

  • Eric87

    Figured he would have signed a long term deal by now. Well if he is asking ridiculous money, may be better off to hope someone offers up a contract and we can take the 1st rounder. If we can’t get him signed then we might as well get a 1st for him before he just leaves in a yr, kinda disappointed by this, though I know that a deal can still be negotiated at some point, doesn’t seem like his interest in staying in Pitt is as much as assumed.

  • WR’s going off the board very quickly this afternoon.

    I’ll still be surprised if no teams agree to part with the draft pick. This doesn’t look like a very exciting draft after the top 4 and Wallace is a historic talent.

    I’m hoping he is so set on a monster contract that he won’t take whatever discount being restricted will cost him. Being that fast makes you awfully confident. I would be great to have him for 2.7 this year and let him go next year.

  • It looks like that’s the number based on what?

    I doubt he takes anything that low unless he really only ends up with a single buyer and the Steelers refuse to promise not to tag him next year.

    I think they should offer not to tag him if he agrees to play this year for 2.75.

  • Eric87

    sorry I cant see any team paying a speedy wide receiver anything more than 8mil per year, why would he be worth anything more than that, lets be honest wallace is good, but he is no calvin johnson

  • Eric87

    why keep him for just this year in your logic? why not just try to trade him away now for whatever draft pick you can get if you are sure that he is going to leave. That is with they did with Santonio, and pothead or not I would take Holmes back anyday

  • 5/40 is what Colston got, and he puts up every similar numbers to Wallace. That is where the number comes from.

  • Eric87

    I know its not the Steelers way, but sometimes it sucks watching guys who could fit our team sign elsewhere in free agency. With the way the steelers build through the draft it seems to be the model for others on how to win, look at the redskins ridculous free agency spending and they go nowhere. If this is to remain the Steelers mantra, then they have to keep on keeping their own, cant let wallace and others leave. Gotta pony up the cash, may have to backload a few contracts in the future.

  • what parameters are you using to make that call?

  • I think you keep him this year because he is a difference maker and because we are a contender. At 2.75 he really makes us a lot better especially this year when we are probably a year away from being able to count on Sanders and Brown as the 1 and 2.

    I like the first round pick and it is better then the 3 we get if he just leaves (does that still apply?) but it might be a fatal blow to our chances this year.


    I wouldn’t take Holmes back for nothing and drugs have nothing to do with it.

  • Eric87

    I have no actual stats, it is just uncommon for speedsters to get huge contracts in my memory I really can’t think of too many. Anyone else throw some names out??

  • Eric87

    Holmes is a diva, but how quick we forget he brought us a 6th championship with that heroic grab, he may be a dumbass, but as long as he can catch the ball that is all I care about, and you didnt see him pulling that locker room crap with the steelers. The jets are just dysfunctional. I wouldnt say losing wallace would be a fatal blow, it would definitely suck, but others would step it up. And if wallace were to leave after this year we would receive nothing because he would become unrestricted

  • Eric87

    after speed is gone they have little left to offer is why they dont get the big bucks. No big body for positioning on defenders, not great at going over the middle. Wallace is great at getting deep, but would you compare him to Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Vincent jackson, Colston. These guys have more to offer than speed meaning they get the big bucks

  • kevin

    Whether he is in megatrons class is open for debate based upon the stats, but he is clearly better than Holmes and more durable than colston.

  • Isn’t he second in NFL history over the first three years of his career?

    Do you prefer the well rounded guys who don’t actually get you the yardage just because they do a lot of things?

    Personally, I think the fact that he only does one thing and still can’t be stopped is more valuable then a well rounded skill set.

  • Holmes isn’t a diva. He’s a cancer. The fact that he did something positive here once means I appreciate that he did something here once. It doesn’t mean I like or respect him. I wouldn’t take him on this team for a minimum deal.

  • How quick we are to forget that the ONLY reason he “brought us a 6th championship with that heroic grab” is because he dropped the easy layup on the play before.

    He is a cancer and highly overrated.

    And we would get at least a 4th as a comp pick for Wallace if he left, which is what Emac2 was referring to.

  • Third, behind Moss and Rice.

    I personally prefer a well rounded WR, and the Steelers, given their history (Ward is the ONLY FA WR they have kept long term since it started), they do too. But, Wallace is VERY good at the one thing he does.

  • Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Lee Evans made almost 12 mil with the Bills in 09…

  • I agree. he is not in the CJ/AJ/Fitz class, but he is in the 5-7 range just below them.

  • Wallace has very little trade value, because of his contract status. Why would a team give up something of value, for a player they are only guaranteed to have for one season?

  • I’m comfortable that we can get smaller, well rounded WR’s in the third round but an elite speed WR like Wallace either costs you 10+ for one with serious mental problems or a really high draft choice (or tons of luck)

    Elite speed or size makes the big money difference at WR. Ward stayed simply because no one offered him a really big contract. Wallace just doesn’t fit a business model where you spread the money around.

  • Eric87

    moss, TO, Ocho were much more rounded receivers with more than just speed, well maybe Moss was a speed guy. Lee Evans has never been all that great, so i have no idea why the bills paid him that much

  • Eric87

    I agree with you there. That range is what he should be making, not 10+. If a team gives him that though, then more power to them

  • Eric87

    I personally do prefer the well rounded guys, though it is nice to throw the speed guys in with them, but not at 10 mil

  • Eric87

    Yea could get a compensatory pick if he left, but that is nothing in value if trade options could be applied. And yes holmes did miss that easy pass before, and Im not saying the guy isnt an ass, but he can ball. He made the most plays throughout the playoffs as well, Chargers and Ravens games. Also had the big catch to win the division against ravens. He has problems but so do we all. I never heard rumors of having locker room problems with him here, just couldnt control himself off of the field. I personally like the guy as a wr, maybe not the person.

  • Eric87

    yea was only meaning getting the first. Didnt mean actual trade

  • Jacksons 5-55 is about what Wallace will/should be looking for

  • Dan

    Dear Dave,
    Now close to 5 hours in and no news of offer sheets for Wallace. Is this of any significance? Does the media instantly know when an offer is tendered, or is it only if some involved party chooses to make it known? I know teams have until April 20 to tender an offer, but if we hear nothing by tomorrow morning is that really a good indicator that no team is uber-hot for him?

    And does Wallace have to take the highest offer or is it his discretion to choose a somewhat less lucrative deal but to stay in a better team situation?

  • Mwormack

    I like Wallace, but he seems to fade late in the season and some games he is not a factor at all. I get that he gets the safety over the top jazz, but that’s what a number one is supposed to do. When teams made the attempt to take Wallace out of the game, he was taken out of the game quite a bit. I like him at around five mil a year any more than that I would rather have the draft pick and shore up the oline if possible. But I would rather see them get two decent o lineman at 3 mil a piece via free agency to help the line a little. And with two draft picks in the first round, it would be nice to get the best two available. The only positions I wouldn’t draft numbe one would be S, C, QB, FB, DE, P or K. The best two at any other position would suit me fine. I would even like to see them trade down one of the ones to get more draft value this year like a two three. But my wishful thinking would like to see a T or G with two number one picks.

  • Eric87

    If thats what he is wanting, the steelers probably wont be paying it. Hopefully he will settle for 5-40. The guaranteed money I believe is more of a factor in most of these contracts anyways. What did Jackson get, 26mil guaranteed? Thats what they need to work on

  • Eric87

    maybe give wallace another yr or 2 before we compare him to Moss’ talent level when he entered the league. Moss was unstoppable at that time

  • SteelersDepot

    Still day one. Let the smoke clear, but surely if he makes a visit it will be reported quickly along with any offer sheet should one be signed.

  • Mellymorales07

    Cut the bull and pay that man !! We need to keep these weapons for the war bowls !! He’s done enough to prove that he’s worth it !!

  • Definitely not saying Wallace has Moss’s talent level. But both were pretty much one trick guys to start. Moss just did it better.

    I got no problem giving Wallace a few more years, but not for 8m+

  • James

    Surely better to get him tied down to a long term contract now though than go through all of this again next year when he’s a ufa.

  • Randy Steele

    Wait until you see if he gets an offer. That way you know his price. Then you sign him to a long-term deal to avoid next year’s free agency. It’s not rocket surgery.

  • Vicdistazio

    The Steelers keep thinking that they can find good WR’s in the draft and not free agency.Why not sign a Brandon Lloyd or Steve Smith.Those guys would come cheap at best.But no they won’t do it.I give you Steeler fans this warning:There will be a year where between free agency and the draft there will be no WR’s to pick up and then the Steelers front office will be sorry.The fact of the matter is that Ben is now 30 he ain’t 22 anymore.give the man some WR’s and quit allowing them to get away after 2 or 3 years.You can’t keep relying on the draft to bail your butts out every year.It’s just not gonna happen.The front office belives in guys jason worlds or alonzo jackson to turn out to be good and that a guy like Wallace is a bum.Think about this Marshall,Fitzgerald,Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson.They are all number 1 WR’s in the league.How does Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders qualify as a number 1 and number 2 WR’s explain that to me.I am aksing the steeler front office to do this:quit expecting the NFL Draft to keep churning out WR’s cause eventually there will come point where they won’t be there and then you go now what?

  • Boomboom

    Why are the 9ers out of the running just because they signed Moss? Anyone that thinks they brought in Moss as a #1 WR is smoking something good. The 9ers have plenty of cap space to sign this guy.