Trading Mike Wallace Makes No Sense

Should restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace spend his Saturday elsewhere today, it will mark four days that he has missed of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. Sound the alarms and get the torches.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tweeted last night, “Do not be surprised if Steelers trade Mike Wallace during training camp. They no longer believe they can sign him long term.”

While I like reading the work of Dulac, I just really do not see this happening. Could a sign and trade deal take place between now and the start of the season? Sure it could, but what would the Steelers get for Wallace, and what kind of long term ramifications would it cause by letting a player basically force the Steelers hand? We already know that teams think Wallace is not worthy of a first round draft pick. That was proven during free agency. Would a team give up a second for him? Sure it is possible, but remember, that team would need to work out a long-term deal with him first. He would then have to sign his tender and then be traded, because remember, he is not currently under contract right now.

Here is another scenario. Say Wallace holds out until the final six games of the regular season so that he can get his accrued season and then is allowed to walk off into the sunset via free agency just as Plaxico Burress did so many years ago. The Steelers at the very least would receive a third or fourth round compensatory draft pick that way and they would show that they are not afraid to let a player sit instead of giving into his demands in any way whatsoever.

As I pointed out after Antonio Brown was given his new 5 year, $42.5 million extension on Friday, the Steelers have plenty of cap space to get a reasonable deal done with Wallace still. Four days into training camp and the media has the fan base in a frenzy. You should have seen all of the panic and trade scenarios being thrown around on Twitter last night and it is continuing on today. I still buy into the theory that getting a deal done with Brown at some point prior to the start of the regular season was always on the checklist this offseason. Why couldn\’t it have been? It is not like Brown broke the bank either. He received just over $9 million guaranteed and moved the 2012 salary cap needle only $1.7 million. The Steelers did not give money earmarked for Wallace to Brown. That\’s crazy talk.

To reiterate, yes, the Steelers could very well wind up trading Wallace before it\’s all said and done, but I for one would be pretty surprised if it happened. Someone will surely throw out Santonio Holmes as an example, but that was an entirely different set of circumstances. Holmes was under contract and entering his final year of it when he was dealt. He also had a four game suspension hanging over his head in addition. The Steelers knew they would not be able to sign him long-term, nor did they probably want to. Notice the big distraction that Holmes has become in New York? The Steelers saw all of that coming. The Steelers got what they could for Holmes and moved along. Wallace has done nothing wrong since arriving in Pittsburgh and the Steelers have indicated all along that they want to get him signed to a long-term deal. The ball remains in the court of Wallace and I think the two sides can still come to terms. Four missed days of training camp will not change that.

  • emac2

    Couldn’t he just sign his tender and be traded for a player after a handshake deal is done with the other team? If we lose wallace and holmes for 4th and 5th round picks it means the team is mismanaging assets to teach players not to exercise the same contract rights the teams use. Wallace isn’t holding out on a deal he signed or I would be sharing the outrage.

  • frasefra

    Losing Holmes was a blessing, we wouldn’t have Brown or Sanders if the Steelers would’ve re-signed him…he has been a prima donna with the Jets…that was not a case of mismanaging assets, it was a case of proactive removal of a toxic asset.

    Wallace is a horse of a different color. When he reports to camp, hopefully this week, we will see where his head is. To reiterate Dave’s point, Wallace has done nothing wrong and by all accounts is a good man with a lot of football ahead of him. The only question is what type of money is he asking for…if he and his agent think he is worth Larry Fitz $, then he will be an UFA at the end of the year…if he and the Steelers are close, then Omar will work his magic and we will see #17 playing the X for the Steelers for years to come.

    I don’t see us getting less then a third round comp. pick in 2014 for him with the size of the contract he would sign in 2013 FA

  • Why keep a guy exhibiting these kinds of traits at this stage of his career, long term? He’s valuable but the adverse effects that this could have on our young WR/TE group could prove to be just as substantial. I’d like to see him go. One-trick-pony is right. He disappeared in the second half of the season. His hands are questionable. His ego is outrageous(self comparison to Jerry Rice?). Compare him to Hines Ward. Hines held out on his final contract but still showed up in the pre-season. Not to mention the fact that he knew the offense cold. Wallace has stunted his growth and has confidence issues.

    Another smart move by the Steelers.

  • Mismanaging assets???? We grow em and keep em in Pittsburgh. Holmes was obviously a problem-Burress too. Wallace is in the NFL to play the game. Holding out on your first deal exhibits a confidence issue. Either way, the Steelers are playing this right. Player loyalty is not reciprocated in this case. I’d rather he left now than in 5 years, after we’ve invested too much in him.

  • SteelSpine

    Yep, & Ed Bouchette wrote that might be the way to go. Bouchette says we’d only get a 4th or 5th for him, I think a team would trade a 3rd round pick for him because Wallace does not have the baggage Holmes had which got us a 5th round pick. A 3rd round pick not quite as bad as compensentery pick because comp picks are always at end of round. I agree w you, & recieving a lower-round pick for a guy you spent a higher-round pick on (then spent a couple years developing him so he’s entering his prime) would be a bad trend.

  • Can’t say trading Wallace makes no sense, unless you know what the other side is offering. If the Steelers can get a player who is an upgrade at a key position, or a third round pick now (as opposed to waiting until what they MAY get as a compensatory pick), then a trade makes sense.

    Not worried about the ramifications of a player trying to force his way out of town. For the FO to even consider this type of move, it would be because a player has already burned his bridges with the team, in which case he isn’t no longer wanted anyhow.

  • emac2

    if all that comes back for the 2 are 4th and a 5th picks I don’t know how you can consider it anything else. Unless he plays all year and we win the title.

  • PoKey21

    I agree with the article in the fact that Wallace wont get traded. But say he does; here are the teams he could land with the Patriots, Ravens, 49ers, Bengals, Browns, Bears, Texans, Redskins and Jaguars.. First off I think we can cross the Browns, Bengals, and Ravens off the list because I dont believe the steelers would ever trade him within the division. Chicago already traded for Marshall take them off the list. The Patriots signed Stallworth, Lloyd, and Gafney there off the list. Would Wallace take to the idea of being #2 is entire career in Texas, i doubt it take them off the list. That leaves the Jags, 49ers, and Redskins. The Redskins have a rookie QB with a run first offensive mind set. The Jags have Blaine Gabbert and the 9ers have Alex Smith, neither QB can throw a deep ball for sht. In reality there are only a handful of QBs in the NFL that can utilize Wallace to his maximum potential. I hope he realizes that Ben, and his style of play, have done a LOT for Wallace in his career. In another situation on another team, he may gone unnoticed. Even still we all know he has the speed, but we rarely see him run over the middle, hes definitely not a possession type receiver, and his route running is average at best. Vincent Jackson and Desean Jackson each got 5 years at 51 and 55. I think those numbers are right around fair market value for Wallace. If the Steelers offer more than 5 years at 50-60 million they will have paid too much! If hes asking more than that, it is too much! Does anyone know the numbers that are being tossed around? Or are all we left with is “Fitz Money” lol??