If you had June 15th circled on your calendar as an important date for the Pittsburgh Steelers and restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, you should know that it is just another Friday in June. I have long said that the Steelers would not lower the tender of the fourth year receiver from $2.74 million down to $577,000, even though they had the ability to do so at their disposal.
General Manager Kevin Colbert updated the situation with Wallace on 105.9 The X on Thursday and stated what most of us already knew would not happen on Friday.
Colbert was asked if talks were still ongoing with Wallace and his agent Bus Cook first. “We\’re in talks with Mike, and again, the last time he was here was about three weeks ago. He stopped in, talked to everybody, got his playbook, and its a process,” said Colbert. The GM continued, “It\’s a very important deal for Mike, it\’s an important deal for us. Both sides are positive and we have started. And like Art (Rooney II) stated yesterday, we wish Mike was here, but he\’s not under contract, so technically he doesn\’t have to be here. But everything is positive at this point. Its just a process at this point, but once we get it all taken care of, I think everyone is going to be happy.”
Colbert was asked if Wallace not being present for the off-season program was the only leverage that the young receiver had left to use and if he sees Wallace\’s side of things. “Yeah, but really there\’s no leverage to be gained,” said Colbert. “Again, its been a positive exchange whenever we\’ve talked to Mike or talked with his agent, so really it\’s not about leverage at this point. I think what both Mike (Tomlin) and Art were talking about is he needs to there to stay in phase and stay up with learning of the new offense, the meshing with Ben (Roethlisberger) on the new routes that he\’ll be running. But he didn\’t, so we have to move on and hopefully we get him in here before training camp and get him caught up.”
Lastly, Colbert was asked to confirm whether or not the tender of Wallace would be reduced on Friday. “No that\’s never been an intention of ours. You know when we tendered Mike at the amount we did, and the compensation that\’s due that tender, we really had no issue with that whatsoever, because he\’s deserving of that,” said Colbert. “And you know again, we want him to get a long-term deal that he deserves and I\’m real confident that we\’ll be able to do that, because again, when both sides want the same thing, I think it\’s just a matter of time.”