No Surprise Mike Wallace Will Get 1st Round Tender If Not Signed By March 5th

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Thursday morning that the Pittsburgh Steelers will not use the franchise tag on restricted free agent Mike Wallace should they not get him signed to a new contract in the next few days. The news comes as no surprise as the Steelers do not have the cap room to accommodate a projected $9.4 plus million franchise tag amount.

The Steelers have been in talks with Wallace about trying to get a new deal done before the start of free agency and team president Art Rooney II said after the 2011 season ended that Wallace would be a priority to get resigned. It was announced on Wednesday that the contract of 14 year veteran Hines Ward would be terminated prior to March 5th and that move would mean that the Steelers have trimmed over $32 million off of their 2012 cap number since the 2011 season ended. Ralph Cindrich, the agent for linebacker James Farrior, reiterated again on Thursday that he did not like the chances of the Steelers retaining his client as well. Should Farrior indeed have his contract terminated, it would save another $2.825 million in cap money.

Should the Steelers not work out a deal with Wallace over the course of the next few days, the first round tender that they will place on Wallace will be roughly $2.742 million. Wallace would then be allowed to accept offer sheets from other teams once the free agency signing period begins and the Steelers will have the right of first refusal to match any offer made to Wallace or receive a first round draft as compensation from the team that signs him away. It should be reiterated that there is time to get a deal done with Wallace before having to use the first round tender.

  • Joe D

    What type of money could Wallace get..
    What are the contracts of others to compare to???
    I’m sure he is in the 40million for 5 year category or thereabouts.

  • Ron Jammes

    Nobody knows, this is all new to the NFL. That’s why most experts think he will sign the tender and work out a longer term deal. That’s if they have cap room and it’s doesn’t upset the apple cart of how players are slotted in salary. In the past with teams having to give up a first and a third very few teams even bothered. My take is that the owners don’t want this kind of thing to become popular and will resist the idea. They just got salaries reduced on draft picks and to turn around and start signing RFA’s doesn’t make sense

  • PoKey21

    Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne, Megatron, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, and Santonio Holmes contracts all average out to about 8 million a year. Thats how much Wallace should get Its just depends though how much someone is willing to pay. 2 teams interested in him like the Patriots and Bengals I dont think would drop 10-12 million a year AND a first round pick. Their owners are more frugal. San Fran is a toss up though, coming off a hot year, a lot of fan support, and a new coach could lead to them over spending. I could see them giving him 11 million, and I dont believe the Steelers would match above 9.5 million at the Most.

  • If we RFA tender him, he is gone.

  • @Ron, I think most owners would rather give up a first for a proven quantity like Wallace rather than take a risk on a pick. If you are San Fran and say you are looking at Alshon Jeffrey or someone like that at 30. Why wouldn’t you go for the proven guy like Wallace instead? The money isn’t that much of an issue for a team like SF.

  • PoKey21

    It makes sense for teams with a major need, cap space, and a late first round pick (or even better 2 first round picks). Why not grab an established talent as opposed to the crap shoot of the NFL draft? The only thing affecting it is whether Wallace wants to play somewhere else. If he is happy with the Steelers, and the Steelers are happy with him,(which seems to be the case) they should be able to match any offers and all will be fine. Like I said though if a team has a major need, and pretty descent depth why not get the established talent over the pick?

  • PoKey21

    But we can still match.

  • greeny

    He is gone. Everyone has been blasting me for saying this. No Franchise tag no Wallace