Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders Doesn\’t Need To Reference Mike Wallace When Talking About Contract

The Pittsburgh Steelers have wrapped up their first mandatory mini camp practice of the 2013 season and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders talked to the media after its conclusion.

Will Graves of the Associated Press reports via Twitter that Sanders said there\’s been no movement on contract extension talks so far, but that he\’s not worried about it. The fourth-year wide receiver also stated that he learned from former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace how to handle the last year of a deal and added he had no problem with what Wallace did last season, and that he\’s currently happy with his tender.

Sanders, in my opinion, should have left the reference to the way Wallace handled 2012 out of it, as the last thing that Steelers fans want to hear right now is him saying the new Miami Dolphins wide receiver handled himself well.

Aside from Wallace\’s training camp holdout, he also admitted later in the season that he was unfocused at times and unhappy with the way he was used in the offense of then-new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Like it or not, Wallace\’s contract situation affected his play on the field in 2012, and that\’s the last thing the Steelers need to happen in 2013 with Sanders if they expect to compete for a Super Bowl.

Already this offseason, Sanders\’s agent Jordan Woy has made it known that his client is willing to play out the final year of his deal and hit unrestricted free agency next offseason if a “very good deal” wasn\’t signed with the Steelers prior to the start of the season.

Sanders, however, needs a productive 2013 season in order to cash in, and that is where he differs from Wallace. Heading into his final season under contract last year, Wallace had already registered 171 catches for 3,206 yards and 24 touchdowns. Sanders, on the other hand, heads into the final year of his deal with 94 catches for 1,290 yards and five touchdowns.

As I have previously pointed out, the Steelers have the salary cap space to get an extension done with Sanders during training camp as long as it is a “reasonable” one. If Sanders thinks he will get a deal close to the one fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown received last year during training camp, he can forget about it.

If I were Sanders, I would deflect questions about my contract status from here on out as anything he says moving forward will more than likely not be looked at in a favorable light and especially if he keeps on referencing Wallace in his answers.

  • Shea Fahr

    I know it is a lot to ask of a Rookie, but I really hope that Wheaton comes in and overtakes him as the number 2 by halfway thru the season. A little bite of humble pie would serve him well. Why even mention Wallace??

  • TJimmy

    No wonder Antonio Brown thought Sanders wasn’t amenable to the “Steelers way of doing things.”

    The Wallace/Sanders way of doing things is risky though if there is an injury.

  • steeltown

    I don’t have a problem with what he said, because quite frankly I don’t care.. he needs to produce like Bryan mentioned, end of story. He had 1 TD last season, that’s not going to get you a “very good deal” and he SHOULD be damn “happy” he’s getting the $2.5MIL he’s making

  • steeltown

    Well it might be alittle much to ask that, but I somewhat agree. If Wheaton flashes some ability this season, it will give the Steelers more leverage come contract talks with Sanders. They could very well just let him walk if his asking price is too high because of the potential of Wheaton..

    Here’s to hoping Wheaton has a productive rookie season

  • joe brazil

    i agree 100 % i dont think he is worth 2.5 i just think if we had anyone to replace him now..a long term deal with him might warrant the same money or a little bump…Mike wallace got what he was hoping for money but 1 thing he will never get is a ring in lowly Florida…MIke forgot you need a qb to throw you the ball

  • Shea Fahr

    …and if the Steelers feel that talks will not go anywhere. Would you bring in Breaston for one more “tire kickin” prior to training camp?

  • steeltown

    Im torn on that subject (Breaston) I like the fact that he can play special teams and has played with Haley, but it seems we already have quite a few WR’s duking it out. If Breaston was brought in it would probably be at the expense of Burress or Gilreath

  • Shea Fahr

    Florida is not that bad Joe. There are many dedicated Steeler Fans from the ‘Burgh that reside HERE in Florida. I think you meant the lowly Dolphins??….just checking…

  • Gautama Om

    Sanders mentioned it because it’s a subtle way of saying he feels for what Mike Wallace had to endure last year playing with risk of injury and no big contract because he has to go through a similar scenario this year.

    I’m sorry to inform both Sanders and Wallace that they both were greedy in that they asked MORE THAN what they were worth (key words in bold). Of course Wallace deserved to get paid big; just not as big as he did.

    That’s the problem with both of them. Truly hope you don’t injure yourself this year (for both yourself and the Steelers) but if you do then you have no one to blame but yourself.

  • Kolie Oak

    This is exactly why its so hard to watch any sport nowadays.
    Sanders will play well, be offered more than hes worth…
    Its all about the money, the money…
    Still SMH over Mikes contract?????!!!

  • dgh57

    I’m willing to settle for plan B in Markus Wheaton, J D Woods, and D. Gilreath if need be!! We could still do without the Wallace referencing and he needs to let his PLAY do his talking for him if he wants to get somewhere!!

  • walter mason

    I am one of the fans from the Burgh and I can tell you first hand that IMO the Miami area has turned into a cesspool. Its truly paradise lost.

  • walter mason

    He should have said that he learned from Wallace’s mistakes. Im afraid that Saunders heart is not with the Steelers.

  • Ahmad

    I agree with Dave. Sanders should keep his mouth shut with all comments regarding his contract. Everything he says can be used against him.

  • Shea Fahr

    Could say that about a lot of places around the US and World…anyway, back to football talk.

  • Mike.H

    Look at Sander’s yardage and # of catches the past 3 seasons; he’s merely a possession WR thus far, leverage not particularly high if he wants big $$bucks.

  • Pete

    If I were Sanders, I’d focus on football and leave the rest to business. If Sanders has a good year, he may get a free agent contract better than Brown. Sanders is a good WR and teams are always looking for good receivers. I haven’t seen the Steelers pay 2 receivers 6 mil a year in…I can’t remember if ever. I bet the front office is hoping Wheaton lives up to expectations. If he looks good, you can say goodbye to Sanders because the Steelers will let him walk. Then it makes that 3rd round pick offer by the Pats more bothersome that it was left on the table.

  • Mike.H


    1st yr, 230 yds.

    2nd yr, 350 yds.

    3rd yr, 650 yds. total average of about 14.3 yd per catch. How much $$$ is fair for this production for long term contract?

  • enz1ey

    I think everybody, including the author of this article, is taking his comments the wrong way. I believe he is saying he learned from Wallace what NOT to do in this situation, which is why he says he wants to stay. Wallace clearly did not want to stay. Sanders isn’t worried about it, as in he WON’T be holding out. He’ll play, and he’ll work with the Steelers to work out a new deal if/when they want to.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    How about Burress playing the #2 and Sanders playing the slot? Yeah,
    yeah, I know, Burress is just a one-trick pony. Whatever!