Has Mike Wallace Lost His \”Creds\”?

By Christina Rivers

Credentials – that which entitles one to confidence, credit or authority; Evidence or testimonials concerning one\’s right to credit, confidence or authority (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Creds – Credentials earned in life by experience. Credit given. (UrbanDictionary.com)

We\’ve all been following the ongoing saga of receiver Mike Wallace\’s professional football career.  Some have been as hooked to the story as they are to Jersey Shore.  With all the rumors and statements made by Wallace and others, the only question left is whether or not Wallace\’s actions and words have cost him his “creds”.

Wallace possesses confidence.  There is no real dispute there.  In 2011 he appeared much more comfortable running routes and exhibited more of his true talent on the field.

Toward the end of the season, Wallace was seeing more teams using double-coverage on him.  Opponents, knowing he has exceptional speed, created defensive packages meant to limit his receptions, especially ones for long yardage.  As a result, Wallace\’s stats began to drop a bit and Antonio Brown\’s stats began to rise.

Mike Wallace






























Antonio Brown























Let\’s not get too carried away, though.  In September, Wallace was outperforming Brown with 21 receptions to ten; 377 yards to 156.  In December, Wallace had 16 receptions for 243 yards and two touchdowns.  Brown made 15 receptions for 311 yards and one touchdown.  Those numbers aren\’t close enough to say that Brown “outplayed” Wallace by any means.  Wallace was still putting up healthy numbers.

Give Wallace credit where credit is due.  He has made some incredible catches.  There were even a few that seemed to be aided by divine intervention.  So far, Wallace has met two of the three \’qualities\’ that make up credentials.  The last one is authority; and this may be where Wallace falters a bit.

When someone is an “authority”, we generally deduce that that person is an expert in their field.  In Wallace\’s case, it would include the football field; literally and figuratively.  Professional football is as much about business as it is about sport.  Players want to be fairly compensated for their play, efforts and the risks inherent to the game.  Anyone in business expects a fair price for their goods and services.

Wallace\’s authority is questioned by some because he is rumored to have asked for a contract that paid more than Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald\’s 8-year, $120 million deal.  Others question the fact that Wallace has stated he will not sign the one-year tender the Steelers have offered him at nearly $2.75 million.  Cian Fahey, another writer here at Steelers Depot, says Wallace will be “unreliable” in 2012 due to the fact that he\’ll most likely be forced to suit up for the Steelers…but will his heart be in it?

Is Wallace in the top-10 of all receivers in the National Football League today?  Many \’burgh faithful may adamantly declare, “yes”, but that may not be the case.  There is a lot of room for interpretation here.  Recently Hines Ward was on NFL Total Access and listed his top-10; he put Wallace at 10th place.

I am an avid Wallace fan.  I also collect football cards ravenously.  I currently have a Mike Wallace high-value rookie card (Upper Deck – Sweet Swatches #SSW-63) that has a piece of his Ole Miss jersey inserted into it that is certified by Richard P. McWilliam of the Upper Deck company.  As part of my charitable works, I offered for people to bid on the card in order to give the proceeds to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.  The effort was to help kids.  I didn\’t receive a single offer.  Not one bid.

This experience raised questions for me about how football fans see Wallace today.  Has his stock dropped because of his post-season attitude and hold-out that has kept him out of OTAs and now mandatory mini-camp?  Are fans jumping off the Wallace party bus?

Ike Taylor was on Trib Live radio in May with host John Harris.  During the Ike Taylor Show, Taylor insisted that Wallace wants to be with the team and is frustrated, but “Mike feels like he outperformed his last contract.  But he\’s dealing with a monster, and that\’s the Pittsburgh Steelers … they are not going to let you dictate to them on how you feel.”  Taylor admitted that he told Wallace, “Mike, you know, we do need you and we would love to have you at least in the building.  You don\’t have to do nothing because it\’s voluntary, but just your presence being around, you know, it could help or might speed up the process.”  According to Taylor, Wallace is frustrated by seeing a lot of guys receiving big contracts.  Taylor told Wallace, “Football don\’t need you;  you need football.”  (You can see the interview and read Dave Bryan\’s article about the show.)

Head coach Mike Tomlin said the Wallace deal is business and that he has talked to Wallace.  “We had good communications.  This process is going to run its course… It\’ll be a little short term misery, but it won\’t be significant in the grand scheme of things hopefully.”  Wallace did pick up his playbook and has been working out on his own.  This is a testimonial that Wallace needed.  Even Ben Roethlisberger has said that Wallace is a great player and that “(Wallace) needs to get his fair market value.”

For Wallace to take over that authority part of his “creds”, he is going to have to show (like Ike Taylor did in the past) that he understands that he needs the game as much or more than the cash.  I\’d love to see Wallace walk into training camp with a new outlook and complete credentials because he is faithful to his teammates, his team and puts his self-respect first over whatever he personally defines himself in dollars and cents.

To answer the question – no, Mike Wallace hasn\’t lost his “creds”, but he\’s hurting them every day he waits to make a decision.

About the Author

Christina L. Rivers
Born in 1972, Christina L. Rivers follows in her maternal Grandmother's shoes as a writer. Christina is currently a journalist for Examiner.com, and writes for several blogs. She has recently been added as a writer for SteelersDepot and 'The Beam' in Pittsburgh. Christina's favorite Steelers players of all-time are Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley. She is active on Twitter @3Rivers_Writer. Christina also enjoys collecting NFL cards, and has over 5,000 individual Steelers cards, some as old as the late 1950s.
  • Finnegans Wake

    Not sold on the notion that Wallace has lost his creds, or credibility. Everyone in the know seems to think this deal gets done, which indicates to me that the slow crab-walk continues until just about the time when players go to Latrobe… I’ll say he joins them ~ 2 days late. I’d be surprised if Wally doesn’t come around to the FO position, more or less.

  • Nsigary

    Here’s an example… Hines said he would never play for any other franchise, He wanted to retire a Steeler, He never argued his contracts and got the respect from both the fans and the team. If Wallace learned anything from Hines i hope it was respect for his teammates. Having creds on the field and having fan creds are two different things.

  • Mancoljduf11

    may i make a suggestion, I suggest you take this article down, it is pointless, full of Sterotypes and assumptions, What is so hard for people to understand, Mike Wallace has literaly said nothing publicly about his contract since his criptic interveiw in febuary, everyone in the steelers orginization and players have said that it is no problem and i think rooney meant training camp when he said “he should be here”, not the workouts, remember he is not under contract so it is not mandatory for him, this entire “Wallace Saga” if that is what you call it has been generated by media people like you and alot of very jeloues and ignorant fans. And if i hear one more person even discuss the fitzgerald money reports i am going to smash my computer, he clearly is not asking for that and the writer who said he will be unrilaible needs to get a hobby because he has repediatly said he wants to be hear, and the steelers have said they want him, there is more to contract negotiations then just money

  • SteelersDepot

    It would be easier for you to perhaps just not read these types of post. It is a tip.

  • Mancoljduf11

    i actually really enjoyed reading the article i just disagreed with everything that was written from start to finish, I think that all of the articles that have been written on this topic have been more opinion then fact, and then it looks like a fact. And alot of steelers fans seem to be pro owner to an extreme.

  • Jacp58

    You may also want to check and see if your computer has a spell check feature available. That will perhaps enhance your own credibility.

  • Ashfardmufusa777788889999

    if another team would have come calling he would have been there in a snap, please dont be nieve. He just simply was no longer productive and had no interested teams, and in 2005 he held out until mid- August and then got his money. last time i checked it is currently mid-june, and wallace does not need ward to teach him anything, would you call calling out your quaterback over not playing because of a concussion respect for a teamate, wallace has always had respect for his teamates, and i would be willing to bet my house on the fact that wallace will never call a teamate out over an injury especially not a HEAD injury!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pete

    Easy guys. We don’t all have to agree with each other. Everyone is waiting to see how this turns out. So what happens with the Wallace issue is of interest to the Nation.

    Personally, I think Wallace has a lot of speed but I don’t think he’s a Calvin Johnson or a Fitz, I think good receivers are not hard to come by and if they keep Wallace, they probably will not be able to keep Brown. If Sanders stays healthy and puts up monster numbers, he might be gone also.

    Whatever Wallace and the Steelers decide is cool with me. I’d love to keep all of them but I realize that the likelihood of that happening is slim to none in the salary cap era. If they let Wallace walk next year, the Steelers will still have a very good receiving corps. So don’t worry. It’ll all be good.

  • Mancoljduf11

    wallace is more important then keeping brown or sanders because any receiver can make underneath easy catches when a deep threat like walllace is taking the coverage away, no matter who is running underneath the deep threat is the most valuable peace wether he is “calvin Johnson or fitz class” is irrelviant to the steelers and how valuable he shoulld be to them

  • Cols714

    Why is Steelers Depot losing its mind over Mike Wallace? The guy isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. He rightfully wants to get paid. He’s using whatever leverage he can. I see no reason to either worry about this or think less of the guy.

    He’ll either sign a long term deal or the tender and be at training camp at most a few days late. He’ll slide right into his starting role.

    Can we please stop with the drama? He’s Mike Wallace, a guy who is one of the best WR in football the last two years.

  • SteelersDepot

    Going to think of more to post about Wallace to drive you even crazier. Why? Because I can. lol

  • Unfortunate_relative

    I think we need to start referring to Mike Wallace as “Mike Fitzgerald the money Wallace”. Sounds good to me. Say it out loud.

  • Lekraus

    i am at a complete loss as to why Wallace is acting like a 3 year old that decided to take his ball and go home. i keep hearing how the Steeler’s won’t cut his contract dollar amount. if i were the steelers money man i would tell wallace that if he isn’t in Latrobe the first day of camp his contract would be reduced to the lowest number allowed by the league. He is not as special as he thinks he is. i admit he is a good receiver but his talent is run fast and try to get open. the last half of last year he was literally a no show while Brown had a huge year. i would love to have Wallace in camp but if he wants to play hardball then the Steeler’s need to play along with him. we gave away Holmes why not Wallace. with him we win what 10 to 12 games? without him we win 10 to 12 games so tell him to sign or not sign we will go on without him.

  • Mancoljduf11

    i like reading articles and artlicles about wallace but can it please include facts and not opinions and assumptions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cols714

    No problem there. I’ll just keep making the same point until Wallace comes to training camp.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I think it would show great character for Wallace just to show up and watch the practices but not going to participate because of fear of injury…I have faith in the FO…I cant remember the last time they said we need this contract done and it didnt get done…didnt think it would take this long though

  • Mancoljduf11

    if he already came in and got his playbook then it is not that big of a deal, the bottom line is that he is not under contract, and would it really be better for wallace to stand on the sideline doing nothing rather then reveiwing the playbook and being at home working out and staying in shape, that just made very little sense to me

  • kevin

    Hines held out of training camp one year over his contract. It was a fairly public holdout. How can you say with a straight face that he never argued his contract?

  • kevin

    Brown was a no-show in the beginning of the year, but you overlook that one. You may want to check your numbers, but Wallace has had 2 years better than Brown’s best year.

    I don’t understand why you think Wallace is acting like a three year old. He has no obligation to be at OTAs because he is not under contract. He is trying to get a long-term deal, so that he can maximize his earnings. There is nothing childish about that. What is childish is the whining by fans who have no understanding about negotiations and have a slavish devotion to anything that management does.

  • Jprankster2005

    Everybody has there own opinion on this matter…… If you have seen me on here you no mine….. But he is a Steeler……. And if they wanted to send a message they would of told him he was going to take a pay cut if he didn’t sign…… But maybe there’s something there we don’t know……This is the only contract dispute out there really besides Forte that you know nothing about money wise or years or anything….. The only thing you hear is that when San Fran looked into signing him he wanted Fitzgerald money…… Dont’ know why they would say that if they were wrong, Because they needed a reciver like Wallace and would of gave up there late 1st round if the money was reasonable….. And they have alot more cap space than us……And look at the reciver they got in the 1st….. They would much rather have Wallace than him….But the money was to steep…….Wallace may be wanting a little less from the Steelers but I still think he wants around the 9-10 million a yr………

  • AndyR34

    May I suggest that you dispense with your own “opinions and assumptions” that you complained about earlier? You have no idea what Wallace is doing away from camp…you have not been with him during that time. Disagreeing with SS is just being a troll, as he was merely articulating his personal feelings…not stating a fact…or an opinion or assumption posing as a fact. In addition, if you want to have credibility, you might learn the English language. Punctuation and spelling are there for a reason. Thanks

  • Mancoljduf11

    i am just using common sense and am refering to what has already been reported, i was just trying to say that he is not uner contract and if he has his playbook it should not be a problem

  • Mancoljduf11

    if the steelers cannnot agree to pay him at least 9mil then that is ridiculous, he is better then Deshean Jackson (numbers Dont Lie!!!!!!!!) and has been way better then Vincent Jackson the past two seasons

  • AndyR34

    Everything is speculation…including the report that MW wants Fitzgerald money. Even if we assume that his agent actually said that, we can speculate that he only said it to scare off the Niners. That speculation is just as valid as speculating that he is demanding the same from the Steelers. We do not know anything about the negotiations beyond the FO wants MW in Pgh and MW says he wants to stay in Pgh. Other than that, we only have past history to go on and as SS said above, I can’t remember the last time the FO said they needed to get a contract done, bt failed to do it.

  • Jprankster2005

    There not going to pay him 9 million a season……. Ben only get’s a little over 11 million…… Woodley is the only other player that makes on avg. over 9….. So Wallace isn’t going to be the 3rd highest player on this team…….he should avg around 5 to 6 million a yr…….

  • Mancoljduf11

    not true, the fact is that the one thing that Mike wallace made public through this whole time was that he was not looking for fitzgerald money, he tweeted dont beleive everything you hear, and also told someone on twitter that was bitching at him that they dont have to worry because those rumors were false

  • Facts were inserted. Opinions were shared. And generally the question was answered – his “creds” aren’t gone.

  • Nice point Nsigary! The Ward points are interesting as well. Ike Taylor was a good example of waiting until the right time to get his contract, which is why I recommended reading Dave Bryan’s article about it.

  • Fitzgerald money

  • spell check is an essential function.

  • I, for one, don’t think that management has all the right answers by any means. Taylor was spot-on when he said that dealing with the organization was like dealing with a monster. Every player deserves a fair price, a fair contract – and Wallace will get what’s fair or he’ll move on. That’s football.

    If we wrote about every player that held out … well, I am sure that the comments fields on Steelers Depot would explode.

  • Actually, we do know what Wallace is doing away from camp. He’s working out on his own in Louisiana. And most likely, learning the playbook.

  • His teammates say they’d like to see him…I would take that as high praise.

  • San Fran definitely needs a better wide receiver. And they did have the cap room. I almost expected Wallace to bite on the offer, but then again – I think that Wallace really does want to play for the Steelers.

  • Which is why I wrote “rumored to have asked for a contract” that paid more than Fitzgerald’s. BTW – Hines Ward put Fitzgerald at third on his top 10 NFL receivers. Did anyone check out that link because I’d love to hear what you think of his picks, especially #1.

  • There has been talk that Wallace did just what you are claiming – used $$ to get attention, especially from the Steelers. I have no doubt in my mind that the FO is going to get this contract situation done and that Wallace will be right back in Black and Gold in 2012.

  • AndyR34

    I agree with this personally…and I think that IF the Fitz money line was used with the Niners, it was more to scare them off than anything. And I agree that the FO will get it done…sooner or later. We’d all prefer sooner, huh? 🙂

  • Jprankster2005

    Well with him wanting as much as they said he did, That’s the only reason it didn’t get done…… He stated he would like to play for the Niners and Patriots….. That’s why I’ve disliked him from that point on, Because your with one of the elite Franchise’s and say you would like to play for one of our rivals and another team……..I would of loved that pick for Wallace……. I don’t believe a deal is going to get done…….And I wish they would just trade him….. Would love for Michael Crabtree and a 3rd round pick……. I know wallace is better than Crabtree but he could devolp into a better reciver with a better QB…… Just saying it won’t happen but it would be nice to get something good in return……But if he was going to sign a contract with the niners they would of already done it for the 1st rounder……

  • Jprankster2005

    You think he told them he wanted the money to scare them off? No if that’s what he wanted it wasn’t to scare them off it was to try to get a sucker to pay him even close to that……..He believes he did better than Moss and Rice in his 3 seasons, He’s got a big head and wants his paper…..Let another sucker pay him that paper……

  • Jprankster2005

    But he was the only player that didn’t show up, But we should still be happy about this? Look what welker played for the last few seasons, And then he got the Franchise Tag and signed and with the specualtion he will not get a long term deal….. But yes he’s getting more than Wallace but should show that kind of commitment that Welker has to his team……. I say sign AB this offseason and let Wallace walk if they can’t reach a deal in the next 2 months……

  • Jprankster2005

    Lol…… Keep it coming…… It fuels me about this guy, Because he’s in the young money crew…….And wants his paper…… When did people start talking like this…….. The new generation…… All about that paper…. Look at the guys that valued having a job to begin with and went to college for free and got a degree…….I understand he makes the team money, But isn’t all that and can easily be replaceable….. I love this site and glad that the people on the site respond to questions and always have new articles…… This is one of the better sites out there for any NFL team……. I know I’ve got on your nerves and others but we all love the same team…..So that’s all that matters if you don’t have opinion and just sit back and agree then your not having any fun……. Keep up the good articles and Job…….

  • Jprankster2005

    Ok the only fact is that he wants his paper and hasn’t been to any team workouts or minicamp………There’s your facts…….

  • Luke

    If he want to wear the Black and Gold then he needs to get with the program. This isn’t the Yankees or Cowboys and the Steelers are not just going to throw money his way to make him happy. They will however pay him his fair market share, but sorry Mike that isn’t going to be Larry Fitzgerald money. If wants that then go play for them.

  • Mancoljduf11

    he was asked if the opprotunity arrose would you (consider)!!!!!!!!!!!!! playing for the 49ers or patriots. what else was he going to say no and then kill all of his leverage, please dont be stupid. he also said in that same interveiw that he wants to ultimetly stay in pittsburgh and later was talking about how there offense had to improve and also discussed todd haley and the firing of bruce arians, he was asked if he thinks about the possibility of leaving alot and he said that it is impossible to not think about things but it is something that he does not enjoy thinking about, o and by the way, is he with the 49ers or patriots now, no i didnt think so!!!!!!!!!!, o and there was a point in march when ryan clark told him on twitter that he really hoped he was staying and wallace said “man I really hope so to”

  • Mancoljduf11

    what he was probably saying is that the only way i leave pittsburgh is if some dumb GM pays me more then 15 mil a year, he probably knew that it was highly unlikely

  • Mancoljduf11

    Actually ben gets close to 13 mil per year and, troy p makes over 9 per year and what makes you think they are not willing to make him the third highest plyer on this team, did polomulu really have a better season then wallace last year anyway, honestly i do not think so, its hard to tell because they play different positions but i think it can be pretty obvious

  • Mancoljduf11

    he actually did come to the facilty in may to get his playbook and kevin colbert said that he spoke with everyone there, is it really so bad that he is missing a few workouts in shorts and a trip to a dave and busters and throwing competions lets not act like he is missing training camp hear it is not that big of a deal

  • For sure there brother Jprankster2005.

    As for facts, I see plenty of them in the article and plenty of BS in the comments field.

  • If she weren’t taken already, I’d hook you up with Christina JP!

  • What stereotypes? The use of the word “creds”? Come on man. That isn’t a stereotype. A stereotype would be if she wrote that all receivers play for money instead of for honor. Media people? This isn’t the media. I am so confused by your comment that I am gonna go read another great article.

  • Nice tip

  • ha

  • I said it out loud and that guy above’s computer blew up

  • He and Ike were in Vegas

  • I checked out Ward’s top 10, and I think he left a couple guys off that I would have put ahead of a certain player or two. Wideout is an under appreciated position until you make a big play. And there are plenty of them in the NFL who have better stats than those that were on that top 10 list, but they aren’t targeted as often.

  • Preferably the Yankees then lol

  • Jprankster2005

    I hear your arguments but if you was a die hard you would say I want to get the deal down with the team I’m with…….And the reason he isn’t a patriot or niner is because of the money…… The patriots don’t pay players what there worth….. So if they could of got him for cheap they would of took him in a heartbeat they had 2 first rounders……..So he’s asking for the moon and won’t get even what Garcon got watch…. Or he will be a FA next yr…… and they will let him walk just like Burress

  • Jprankster2005

    I’m not talking signing bonuses I’m talking yearly contract and ben is a little over 11 and know a reciever is not going to get that kind of money in Pittsburgh….. You name one that got more than 5 million…….

  • Jprankster2005

    Gezzzzz your hard on with this guy…… He should be there with his team…….There not going to sign a deal with him until he signs the tender I’m telling you……. So he needs to do the right thing then I won’t complain about it no more……

  • Denise

    I hear many disagreements and comments made here on this article. I would have to agree that Wallace is a good player. I think he has every right to negotiate or attempt to get what he feels like he deserves or is worth within his “contract” but at the same time these negotiations HAVE to be within reason. The Steelers organization is NOT going to cave to every demand or request that a player may make. Since this is their job/career and livelihood it should also be made worthwhile. But- I also agree that is has to be within a certain amount of money or capped. Mike has to prove to them that he is gonna stay with the Steelers and be totally dedicated to his teammates. IF- he is unsure of what he wants to really do in his heart and gut – they are not going to make a larger offer if he is not going to do what is required of him. They have regulations THAT ALL TEAM PLAYERS MUST FOLLOW and that includes him. Just in my own opinion he is not anymore valuable than anyone else on the team. They are all important and each have their positions that they play and need to be ready in aspects to play this role and play as ” A TEAM” this is not about just one player it should be about the ENTIRE TEAM AS A WHOLE and there has to be give and take on both sides. The question that remains is WHAT is going to be fair to all.

  • rik degroot