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steelblood
01-09-2012, 09:59 AM
Wallace saw his production really drop off in the last third of the season. Part of that was the emergence of Antonio Brown. Brown is obviously a better third down receiver with better route running, hands, and open field elusiveness. Still, Wallace should have also benefited from Brown's success to a degree. There should have been some chances for him to sneak past folks. But, those moments were few and far between.

Mike is a good guy and a hard worker. But, he has not developed in a few key areas. Mike has great coordination as he has shown with some amazing fingertip catches at top speed. However, his technique is often very sloppy. He double catches a lot of balls. He cradle catches passes that could and should be high pointed and caught with his hands. And, he continually passes up opportunities to draw pass interference when he gets DBs turned around. These are skills he should have honed or improved by this point.

Wallace has unbelievable, world class speed. He possesses great long speed (maybe the best in the league). He also has an excellent short area burst that makes him effective on short passes and screens.

With Wallace the Steelers have three option for next season.

The first option is to franchise Mike Wallace. This will be very expensive and make a terrible cap situation much worse.

The second option is to sign him to a long term contract. This seems like what both sides will want to do. However, the Steelers are way over the cap for next season, and they have to be careful not to commit too much money long term to a speed wide receiver. This is true for two reasons: 1. Speed WRs often don't have long careers (especially frail/thin legged ones like Mike), 2. In this day and age of spread offenses, finding effective receiving prospects and getting them on the field is not difficult (unless you are the Browns).

The final option is to assign the high RFA tender to Mike. The high tender would mean that any team who would want to sign Mike would have a window of a few weeks shortly after the season to sign mike to an offer sheet. The Steelers would then have the option of matching that offer. It is my understanding that if the Steelers refuse to or cannot match the offer they would receive a first and a third round draft pick as compensation and that those picks would be for the 2012 draft.

If the Steelers cannot work out a reasonable contract in the next few weeks, I believe the final option is very prudent. It would be terrible to lose Wallace. But, at least we would get very good picks in return if someone signed him and we couldn't match. Also, if no one signs him, we'd get a terrific bargain for the 2012 season. We could then franchise him in 2013 if necessary.

Now, I know many will say that he MUST be signed long tern now. But, that just might not be practical or feasible especially if Wallace's demands are very high.

Oviedo
01-09-2012, 10:07 AM
The reason why Brown has emerged as a star is because teams first and foremost focus on Wallace. You need both to be successful.

A brightspot from yesterday is that Sanders agains proved he could be a difference maker when healthy. The when healthy IMO is still a major concern for him. I think we need all three of those guys to be successful going forward.

feltdizz
01-09-2012, 10:09 AM
The reason why Brown has emerged as a star is because teams first and foremost focus on Wallace. You need both to be successful.

A brightspot from yesterday is that Sanders agains proved he could be a difference maker when healthy. The when healthy IMO is still a major concern for him. I think we need all three of those guys to be successful going forward.

Brown has emerged because he catches just about everything thrown his way and he is a more complete WR.

AxnJxn
01-09-2012, 10:12 AM
The reason why Brown has emerged as a star is because teams first and foremost focus on Wallace. You need both to be successful.

A brightspot from yesterday is that Sanders agains proved he could be a difference maker when healthy. The when healthy IMO is still a major concern for him. I think we need all three of those guys to be successful going forward.

Yeah, Sanders could be very good, but he has to be on the field to do it. At this point, he's kind of a question mark.

A first and a third would be a good haul for Wallace, especially considering where they drafted him. It would fill a couple of holes that are starting to be glaring. At worst, it would allow them to pick up a punter and/or kicker later in the draft. But, yeah, I'd also agree that a lot of Brown's success is based on Wallace being on the other side.

In the end, if Wallace wants top WR money, he's gone. There is really no justification for giving top dollar to a receiver whose only advantage is being faster than everyone else on the field.

papillon
01-09-2012, 10:14 AM
His play over the second half of the season really has put the Steelers in a tight spot. They have seen what he can do and now they've seen what he can't do. The problem is how do you structure a contract for a guy like that? I'm sure the Steelers would have rather seen him maintain the high level of play and then they would simply pay him his worth; now they have a decision to make about Mike.

The Steelers cap situation shouldn't be too terribly different than any other year. I believe they have very little dead money to be concerned with and should be able to find cap space after some aging vets hang it up or are cut and resigned to lesser roles and money.

Aaron Smith - I believe he is finished
Chis Hoke - Probably the same as Smitty
Farrior - He's 37 years old and probably finished as a starter; possibly a cut and vet minimum guy to be a backup
Ward - I don't see any possible scenario that he returns; he'd be taking a spot of a developing WR
Hampton - Same as Farrior, lesser role and money
Sepulveda - Probably was on the sideline for his last Steeler game last night
Kiesel - He'll be back he has a year or two left in the tank
Harrison - He'll be fine, his drive and competitiveness will keep him around a couple more years
Starks - Hopefully, his knee injury isn't too bad, but he should be invited back to camp
Kemoeatu - He should have received his pink slip when they stepped off the plane in Pittsburgh last night

IMO, Hampton will be back with a lesser role, possibly Farrior, Starks should get a shot to make the team, Smitty, Hoke and Ward should retire. Overhauling the team isn't the Steeler way, never was and never will be (hopefully).

The new guys, McClendon, Hood and Heyward played well last night (not much QB pressure, but they played well overall). The wild cards are going to be Worilds and Timmons; Timmons got paid and I'll give a freebie for the year since he was moved around all year. Worilds, hopefully, will come into his own next year in his third season.

All is not lost Steeler Planet, some interior O-line help, a restful off season, a lot of recovery from injury and a renewed energy next year and the Steelers compete for a division title again. It will simply be a long 8 months before meaningful football is played again.

Pappy

papillon
01-09-2012, 10:17 AM
The reason why Brown has emerged as a star is because teams first and foremost focus on Wallace. You need both to be successful.

A brightspot from yesterday is that Sanders agains proved he could be a difference maker when healthy. The when healthy IMO is still a major concern for him. I think we need all three of those guys to be successful going forward.

Brown has emerged because he catches just about everything thrown his way and he is a more complete WR.

Brown would be successful with or without Wallace. He will go and get the ball and is explosive once he catches it. Hit him in stride and he'll have big games. He's easily the Steelers #1 right now, IMHO. I'd keep him on the kick return team as well, why take pressure off of the opponent by removing a threat to run one back.

You saw what the Broncos thought of him, they didn't even give him a sniff at a return.

Pappy

kindlecatsb'ng
01-09-2012, 10:21 AM
Heard on 93.7 The Fan that there have been reports that Mike Wallace has not been himself the last part of this season--seen moping in the locker room, not being prepared and putting it on problems with a maturation process of young players growing into seasoned ones.

Do not know how credible something like this report is but it could help explain the drop off in his performance from what he has done since the beginning of the season.



Kindle :tt1

Leper Friend
01-09-2012, 10:49 AM
It's hard to say how much Wallaces' speed opens up the offense and help's Brown.That's one thing we can't determine for sure.

The one thing I think we can all agree on is Brown is a stud and an awesome competitor.His hands are amazing.

Wallace seems to be a bit disinterested at times and is turning out to be a bit of a one trick pony.

They are not going to break the bank for Wallace ,nor should they.Hopefully they can agree on some sort of incentive based contract ,however that's porbably not realistic ,just wishful thinking.

Starlifter
01-09-2012, 10:53 AM
His play over the second half of the season really has put the Steelers in a tight spot. They have seen what he can do and now they've seen what he can't do. The problem is how do you structure a contract for a guy like that? I'm sure the Steelers would have rather seen him maintain the high level of play and then they would simply pay him his worth; now they have a decision to make about Mike.

The Steelers cap situation shouldn't be too terribly different than any other year. I believe they have very little dead money to be concerned with and should be able to find cap space after some aging vets hang it up or are cut and resigned to lesser roles and money.

Aaron Smith - I believe he is finished
Chis Hoke - Probably the same as Smitty
Farrior - He's 37 years old and probably finished as a starter; possibly a cut and vet minimum guy to be a backup
Ward - I don't see any possible scenario that he returns; he'd be taking a spot of a developing WR
Hampton - Same as Farrior, lesser role and money
Sepulveda - Probably was on the sideline for his last Steeler game last night
Kiesel - He'll be back he has a year or two left in the tank
Harrison - He'll be fine, his drive and competitiveness will keep him around a couple more years
Starks - Hopefully, his knee injury isn't too bad, but he should be invited back to camp
Kemoeatu - He should have received his pink slip when they stepped off the plane in Pittsburgh last night

IMO, Hampton will be back with a lesser role, possibly Farrior, Starks should get a shot to make the team, Smitty, Hoke and Ward should retire. Overhauling the team isn't the Steeler way, never was and never will be (hopefully).

The new guys, McClendon, Hood and Heyward played well last night (not much QB pressure, but they played well overall). The wild cards are going to be Worilds and Timmons; Timmons got paid and I'll give a freebie for the year since he was moved around all year. Worilds, hopefully, will come into his own next year in his third season.

All is not lost Steeler Planet, some interior O-line help, a restful off season, a lot of recovery from injury and a renewed energy next year and the Steelers compete for a division title again. It will simply be a long 8 months before meaningful football is played again.

Pappy

agree with all that however i expect ward to be back. he will restructure to league minimum and I think cotchery still wants to be a starter. He may move elsewhere allowing hines to remain the #5. I'm not sure that farrior will even get a shot. starks needs to be resigned. his return made a huge difference this year.

flippy
01-09-2012, 11:15 AM
WRs are a dime a dozen. I'd give Wallace the highest tender and hope someone takes him.

We need help in the trenches. I'd rather have a healthy Ben + Brown, Sanders, Cotch, Miller, and Saunders. Heck, I'd rather have healthy Ben + any WR.

Oviedo
01-09-2012, 11:35 AM
His play over the second half of the season really has put the Steelers in a tight spot. They have seen what he can do and now they've seen what he can't do. The problem is how do you structure a contract for a guy like that? I'm sure the Steelers would have rather seen him maintain the high level of play and then they would simply pay him his worth; now they have a decision to make about Mike.

The Steelers cap situation shouldn't be too terribly different than any other year. I believe they have very little dead money to be concerned with and should be able to find cap space after some aging vets hang it up or are cut and resigned to lesser roles and money.

Aaron Smith - I believe he is finished
Chis Hoke - Probably the same as Smitty
Farrior - He's 37 years old and probably finished as a starter; possibly a cut and vet minimum guy to be a backup
Ward - I don't see any possible scenario that he returns; he'd be taking a spot of a developing WR
Hampton - Same as Farrior, lesser role and money
Sepulveda - Probably was on the sideline for his last Steeler game last night
Kiesel - He'll be back he has a year or two left in the tank
Harrison - He'll be fine, his drive and competitiveness will keep him around a couple more years
Starks - Hopefully, his knee injury isn't too bad, but he should be invited back to camp
Kemoeatu - He should have received his pink slip when they stepped off the plane in Pittsburgh last night

IMO, Hampton will be back with a lesser role, possibly Farrior, Starks should get a shot to make the team, Smitty, Hoke and Ward should retire. Overhauling the team isn't the Steeler way, never was and never will be (hopefully).

The new guys, McClendon, Hood and Heyward played well last night (not much QB pressure, but they played well overall). The wild cards are going to be Worilds and Timmons; Timmons got paid and I'll give a freebie for the year since he was moved around all year. Worilds, hopefully, will come into his own next year in his third season.

All is not lost Steeler Planet, some interior O-line help, a restful off season, a lot of recovery from injury and a renewed energy next year and the Steelers compete for a division title again. It will simply be a long 8 months before meaningful football is played again.

Pappy

agree with all that however i expect ward to be back. he will restructure to league minimum and I think cotchery still wants to be a starter. He may move elsewhere allowing hines to remain the #5. I'm not sure that farrior will even get a shot. starks needs to be resigned. his return made a huge difference this year.


IMO Starks is a must keep. He is a difference maker on the OL and we just don't have the depth to let him walk.

Catchery knows he isn't going to be anything more than a #3 guy on any good team. It would be great to keep him and I think he would be open to that.

Hampton=less money or go
Hines=less money or go
Smith, Hoke, Farrior, Sepulveda, Suisham, Dixon, Bmac & Kemo=thank you and enjoy the rest of your life
David Johnson=I'll buy the ticket for him to leave town
Bruce Arians and LeBeau=Its been real but now you really have to leave

All those who want to cast off Wallace forget how young he is. No way do I not try to resign him.

ramblinjim
01-09-2012, 01:22 PM
I agree with a high tender option on Wallace and see what happens. A first and a third rounder would clear up some holes on this team. Saunders got some time in yesterday and he looked pretty good.

Hines Ward = Assistant Receivers coach - I'd love to keep him in the fold. If he wants to play for the vet minimum and put in another year as the #5 guy, so be it.

Farrior, Smitty, Hoke - I respect the beejeezus out of each of you but it's about that time. You guys were awesome Steelers.

We need a guard. A real NFL guard, that can play guard well, that was a guard in college, that can pull and pass block. We just don't have one of those.

I know he made a big difference but I'm 50/50 on Starks. Colon comes back next year with a new contract, the rook played alright at RT this year. Do they move him to LT next? Maybe he backs up big Max for half the season and they swap later? Not sure there.

steelblood
01-09-2012, 02:18 PM
The reason why Brown has emerged as a star is because teams first and foremost focus on Wallace. You need both to be successful.


Yes, I thought this as well at first. But, the more I reflect, I feel that the real reason Brown emerged is because we finally gave him an opportunity to start. Certainly, it helps that Wallace draws a lot of double teams. But, Brown is a great receiver who can be successful even without Wallace. If we lose Wallace, but add a speedy downfield threat and a big, athletic red zone threat (which is what we really need), this offense could be even more successful.