Report: 49ers Inquired About Steelers WR Mike Wallace, Who Wants $120 Million

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, reports that the San Francisco 49ers looked into Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace since free agency began and were told that Wallace was looking for a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million one that Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald signed last year.

That is a pretty huge demand for sure and if indeed it is true, you can be pretty sure you do not have to worry about him getting any offer sheets as that request is outrageous. While he would return on his one year tender of nearly $2.75 million, there is no way the Steelers will sign him to a long term deal in that range.

Wallace has gained more yardage than Fitzgerald did in his first three years in the league, but Fitzgerald caught way more passes. They both registered 24 touchdowns through their first three years as well. Wallace can stretch the field better than any receiver in the league, but he has yet to become the complete receiver that Fitzgerald has, and thus he will not be paid like him until he does.

The Steelers will gladly let Wallace play on his one year tender and let him carry all of the risk that goes along with it. Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and several other teammates have likely talked to him about trying to work out a long term deal to stay in Pittsburgh, but it is a decision Wallace must make himself.

Fitzgerald money? Not happening.

  • Paul M

    pay the man shirley, as I have said Wallace will sign the richest contract in Steelers history

    for a WR. Its a done deal folks

  • Fhsj

    can anyone, and I mean anyone remember the last time wallace made a tough catch,
    larry is a high lite reel, wallace body catches the ball and will never be the guy to , make the tough catch if he don’t extend and use the hands.

  • Joe D

    Love it… Wallace will be a Steeler for 2 more years…
    RFA at $2.75 million this year….
    Franchise at $10milion next year…
    Adios in 2014!!!

    Also, the other WR at Arizona at the time was Boldin… otherwise, Fitz numbers would be higher!

  • JasonDC

    DAve, do you have an approximate of what the franchise for WRs would cost next year?

  • SteelersDepot

    Too early to tell, but it will be more than 10 million easily and could be around $11 million. I haven’t ran those numbers yet.


    That number may represent what Wallace would demand to leave the Steelers. He would probably stay for considerably less.

  • Joe D

    Sorry… not worth it…
    Not worth $15 million per year for someone who touches the ball 5-6 times a game.
    QB… yes…
    WR… NO

  • SteelersBall

    I wonder if Wallace was laughing when he told them he wanted 120 million. Can you imagine telling a potential employer that you want 120 million – it would be hard to do with a straight face. Heck, that is an insult to the 49ers and every other team (except steelers).

    That is some kind of loyalty to the Steeelers, sounds like it will really take alot of money to make him leave the team.

  • Yoni

    He rarely has to make a tough catch because he either creates a lot of separation, or corners concede the underneath routes because they fear his speed.

    Wallace is already an elite WR and he’s just coming into his prime. If he were an unrestricted free agent right now, he would get very close to what he’s asking for.

    Unfortunately for him, he has very little leverage right now.

  • VFRMarine

    Ever think that Wallace might be using the “stupid” money idea in order to give he and the Steelers time to negotiate a long-term deal? As pointed out elsewhere, Wallace does not have anywhere near the numbers of Fitzgerald, but he does have a starting position on a much better team. Maybe Mike is not as egotistical and arrogant as some are pointing out. Perhaps he is simply using the system to get what he wants – a new contract with the Steelers.

  • John B.

    This is his ploy to stay where he is. Quit hating. You should love him for this.

  • Stan

    That was my thought as well. At least, it was my hope. Setting aside the fact that Fitzgerald was and is a better player than Wallace, he also projects better going forward because his performance isn’t dependent on a physical trait that is going to disappear- speed. Wallace will slow down at some point. It may be gradual due to age or it may be sudden due to injury. When that happens he’ll be effectively useless unless he learns to be a complete receiver- and I’m not taking that bet. Fitzgerald also had the leverage of being the one and only star on his team whereas Wallace is, what, the fourth most popular Steeler, if not lower?

  • Stu

    I accidentally liked when I wanted to reply. I would be very disappointed in the Steelers if they gave Wallace a contract like that. They’re far too smart to give money like that to a “one trick pony” whose one trick is going to become unavailable at some point in a long-term contract. Am I the only one who noticed how much better Brown was than Wallace at the end of the year?

  • Paul M

    Dont believe everything you hear -Mike Wallace twitter

  • Sonny D

    Why is that when some hack in an obscure newspaper in California puts something on the internet that people take it as truthful? Then take that garbage and spread it around like they heard it. Then Steelers fans get pissed at Wallace because it infers he is greedy. Everyone knows that the Steelers will pay Wallace well and give him a new contract. They said so!!

  • NW86

    My thoughts exactly. He is asking for a premium because he doesn’t actually want to leave. Also, there is no way he actually plays under the $2.7M tender this year – they will work out a long term deal that pays him much better than that, but the sides apparently haven’t agreed on what that number is yet. It may not happen until training camp.

  • Bleebo77

    Is there anyone else the Steelers might consider franchising next year, or is Wallace the obvious choice if they use the tag? If Wallace is speaking the truth, then I wonder if the Steelers will consider drafting a WR this year or next to develop in the event they lose Wallace in 2 years. Wallace is great, but I feel better knowing we have Brown and Sanders… plus some developmental guys and a vet or two (like Cotchery). Pitt has had the magic touch with mid-to-late round WRs of late – let’s hope it continues!

    And 2 years is a lifetime for a WR – we’ll see what his street value is in 2 years. If he has mad production, maybe he really can demand a Fitz-like contract. If not, maybe he could remain in the Steelers’ range.

  • Jklsa

    How bout that shoe string grab early this season, bro, get on my level

  • Guest

    Looks like Wallace wants to roll the dice and get paid the big money next year. I doubt that he is requesting the same amount to be resigned to a long term deal with the Steelers (even if he is that stupid, his agent is not).

    He knows that as a RFA, teams will not offer as much as they would to an UFA, because they also need to give up a #1 pick. If a team wants to pay him $120M, then he would leave now, otherwise he will wait until next year to make his big money contract. This will make it tough on the Steelers, because Brown & Sanders will be RFA next year if I recall correctly, so I don’t know how they will fit 3 star WRs wanting new contracts at the same time – but that is why Omar Khan gets paid, I guess.

  • Tom

    Seems like he’s going for the long term…as in aiming to become an UNRESTRICTED free agent for next year.

  • Newmann_a

    Take a look at this vs Seahawks:

  • kevin

    Ben did not even get 100 million for 8 years. There is no way Wallace gets that much.

  • kevin

    I think that is what Wallace demanded to play for a weak-armed QB who can’t hit him further than 35 yards downfield.

  • SteelersDepot

    Wallace would be the only one remotely worthy of the tag next year if plays under tender.

  • SteelersDepot

    I will be discussing Wallace on Trib Live Radio at around 2:30 today.

  • No, he wouldn’t. He lacks the polish that is key at that salary level.

  • If that’s what he wants from the Steelers, my prediction of 1-2 more years here will be true. He isn’t worth that kind of money.

  • Wallace’s tweets suggest that this report may not be accurate.

  • Eric87

    lol, that is funny. Hopefully that is what he wants to sign elsewhere, and will lower that asking price a bit for Pitt

  • Jason Brown

    Not to mention the lack of consistency which is HUGE as a preeminent WR threat.

  • Huskie

    I just hope he didn’t have to post this comment because a bunch of Steelers fans spouted off at him. People need to wait until all the info is out before running their mouths on twitter

  • Eric87

    Backup TE could be a huge addition to a new offense. Pairing a good pass-catcher with Heath Miller would spread the field quite well, what does anyone think about taking that Cody Fleener in the 1st? His pro day numbers seemed to be pretty good.

  • Eric87

    I know we have needs elsewhere, but the Steelers have a history of taking players that nobody was even thinking they would take in the 1st.

  • Eric87

    Dave, do you believe that there is a chance that the Steelers will try and sign Brown to a long-term deal before Wallace during camp or sometime before the season? This seems like it would be a good idea to get done now. You could sign him and backload his first two years because he really has only had 1 good season so far and hasn’t ended up in the endzone as much as Wallace. If Brown was signed, then this would allow the Steelers to franchise Wallace next season, and they then could try to hammer out a deal or he could leave after that season. It would ensure that both would be around next season and maybe longer. I don’t believe that Sanders will garner a huge contract unless he has a break-out year this season. I believe the Steelers will be able to get away with keeping him at the 2nd highest tender next year if he has an average season. Your thoughts?

  • SteelersDepot

    No I do not.

  • Eric87

    Do you believe that it would be a larger risk next year putting the 1st round tender on Brown next season since a few teams have stated that he was a better all around receiver compared to Wallace. I believe that Balt would love to steal him away, though they could match an offer.

  • Eric87

    Have any of the Steelers RFA’s actually signed their tenders yet?

  • SteelersDepot

    Remember how scared everyone was we would lose Wallace?

  • SteelersDepot

    no and there is no reason for them to hurry up and do so either.

  • Steelerfanmatt1933

    When all of this shakes out, Wallace will have a long term contract with Pittsburgh.

    Brown will get one too, but not before next offseason.

    Sanders hasn’t done enough to make me worry about losing him. I suspect he hasn’t done enough, yet, to interest other teams either. He will be around as long as the Steelers want him.

    People seem to forget that Brown and Sanders will be Restricted next year.

  • I realize that a lot of people are saying that this report may or may not be true, some think it says Wallace is greedy…whatever…Wallace is crazy smart pushing those kinds of numbers IMHO. He knows there aren’t any good teams that have that kind of money, it keeps him it Pittsburgh and he gets some free press.

    Looking at Mike Wallace’s picture, I can imagine him laughing @SteelersBall

  • Fourth most popular Steeler? Are you talking team overall or just WR? If you’re saying WR, I would say he’s a solid #2 on the team under Brown who proved he has more versatility in my opinion (last season).

  • John B

    You see the end of that regular season game vs the Packers his ROOKIE year?

  • Hampdenrocks

    ….no receiver is worth more than 5mil a year…. it’d be insane to pay more for any WR. if Wallace get’s more, let ’em fly fr a no.1 pick.

  • PoKey21

    No one who has a tendency to disapear during games should command that kind of money. He is a 5 year 70 mil or a year of tender and a franch tag is 2 years 13mil. Take it or leave it Wallace

  • Pittsburgh John

    Excellent comment. He is a coward and NEVER goes over the middle. In case he gets lost there he goes down without any contact!!! We don’t need cowards in Pittsburgh. He couldn’t sew a patch on LF A–!!! The most overrated receiver in the league. You are allowed to catch a pass that MATTERS, not just for statistics!!!!

  • Pittsburgh John

    He must be high!!! He couldn’t sew a patch on LF’s A–. He is a coward, who will NEVER make a big catch if he thinks that he is going to be hit. He drops passes right in his hands and he NEVER goes over the middle. He is not a Pittsburgh type player – see Swann and Stallworth. Trade him NOW to a team with a bad record for a first round pick and get an Offensive Lineman, Linebacker or Defensive Lineman. That is what they need. Not a receiver. They have plenty of those that have GUTS.

  • Steelcitymike

    I agree. Great players come and go and Wallace will be no exception, when the time comes. The time isn’t now though. He will eventually have a long term contract but this will be a telling year for him. The great speed will keep him in the elite category but he needs to “man up” once in a while and be able to make the tough catch in traffic and take the big hit. Fitzgerald has been doing that his entire career on a mediocre team. The big money is in MW’s reach. HE, and only he, has to go get it.

    Brown has progressed to the point where he will demand, and get, big money too but it’s still early for him.

    It’ gonna be a great season. I FEEL IT!!!!