Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace met the media on Tuesday for the first time since signing his one-year, $2.74 million restricted tender and he was asked about the possibilities of him signing a new long-term deal prior to the start of the season.
“I\’m not really worried about a contract, Wallace said. “I\’m just really here to play football. I\’m not really worried about no contracts, or nothing like that. That\’s in the past. That\’s the business side. I\’m not really worried about that, I\’m just here to play football, that\’s it.”
Wallace was later asked if he thought he would be able to work out an extension.
“That’s down the road,” the Pro Bowl receiver said. “Hopefully I can. I would love to be here. This is the team that drafted me and this is where I want to stay. I am not really worried about down the road. I am worried about just playing football right now. That’s it. That’s really the only thing on my mind.”
“You all might think I am just saying that but that’s it,” Wallace exclaimed. “I am not worried about none of that. That was business. I am not on that right now. I am here to play football, that’s it. I am here with my teammates and happy to see the guys. There was a lot of smiles and a lot of love and that’s all that really matters to me.”
If you are curious if Wallace has any regrets as to how he handled the entire situation, he doesn\’t.
“Nah, that’s the past,” Wallace said to the throng of reporters. “I am not worried about that. I don’t dwell on the past. I am worried about right now, that’s it. I don’t have any regrets. Anything I do in life I don’t regret it. I am grown man, that’s what I do. Whatever I do, that’s what I did.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked after the Tuesday practice if there was a time table related to getting something done contractually with Wallace now that he has reported and signed his restricted tender.
“We really haven\’t discussed any of those things,” said Tomlin. “He really just got here and is going about the check in procedure in terms of visiting with the doctors and so forth. Those discussions hadn\’t been had and really probably won\’t be had in the next 24-48 hours. We\’re singularly focused on this performance that we have in front of us Thursday night.”
Wallace is not able to practice until Monday, so that is when the evaluation will begin of where he currently is at from a mental and physical standpoint. While there is still cap space and time to get a long-term deal done with Wallace, it will likely come in the 11th hour if it happens. The Steelers will likely travel to Denver a week from this coming Saturday, so that figures to be the deadline on when a new deal can get done as the Steelers generally do not discuss contracts once the regular season begins.
For now we have to just be happy that Wallace is back in Pittsburgh and has time to prepare for the season opener.