Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted today that the Pittsburgh Steelers are making progress on getting a long-term deal done with restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace. La Canfora reports that both sides are motivated to get the deal done and that talks are ongoing with training camp now right around the corner.
Steelers continue to make headway with WR Mike Wallace. Both sides motivated to do a longterm deal. Talks ongoing with training camp looming
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 19, 2012
The release of tackle Jonathan Scott on Thursday makes the report of La Canfora very believable as the Steelers cleared $2.2 million in cap space by releasing Scott. The move puts the Steelers roughly $6 million under the cap now and that number already takes into account the $2.74 million that Wallace is already counting against the cap in the form of his restricted tender offer. If you remove that $2.74 million, that means the Steelers have nearly $9 million in cap space that will easily cover the first year cap hit of a new Wallace deal.
A new deal for Wallace, if one is indeed reached, will most likely include a second year roster or option bonus as part of the guaranteed money paid in the contract. His new contract structure would likely resemble the one that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice signed just a few days ago. That deal included a $15 million signing bonus, a $1 million base salary in 2012 and a $7 million option bonus in 2013. The structured contract resulted in a 2012 salary cap hit of just $5 million on Rice.
The Steelers are also expected to come to terms with first round draft pick David DeCastro at any time now in addition. The 2012 cap hit on him is expected to be around $1.6 million. He is already counting $390,000 against the cap after the Steelers drafted him, because of rules set forth in the CBA.