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Sugar
02-20-2012, 05:44 PM
http://bleacherreport.com/tb/bf7Bx?utm_ ... h-steelers (http://bleacherreport.com/tb/bf7Bx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=pittsburgh-steelers)

By Jamison Hensley

The Steelers are concerned that another team will take Mike Wallace if they put a first-round tender on the restricted free agent instead of the franchise tag. The last place Pittsburgh would want to see the big-play wide receiver go is inside its own division.

The Ravens and Bengals are among a handful of teams who are considered viable candidates to go after Wallace. Both teams are looking to upgrade at wide receiver. Both have more salary-cap room than the Steelers. And both have more motivation than other teams: Acquiring Wallace not only makes them stronger at wide receiver, but it takes away a playmaker that they won't have to defend twice a season.

Wallace, a 2011 Pro Bowl performer, finished first among AFC North wide receivers with 72 catches and 1,193 yards receiving. He stretched the field with seven receptions of at least 40 yards, including touchdowns of 81 and 95 yards. He also caught one pass of 40 yards or more in six straight games this season.

It's logical that the Ravens would be interested in Wallace. Baltimore only had two wide receivers who caught more than four passes last season (Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith) and neither had more than 57 receptions. But the Ravens have never traded a draft pick higher than a second-rounder (Terrell Owens in a 2004 deal that was ultimately rescinded) and they've come across as being more impressed with Antonio Brown than Wallace.

Still, Baltimore would only have to part with the 29th overall pick, and the Ravens know no wide receiver the caliber of Wallace will drop that far. Wallace, who turns 26 before the season, is entering the prime of his career, which makes him a more attractive option than the other free agent wide receivers: Marques Colston (who will turn 29), Vincent Jackson (29) and Reggie Wayne (33).

But Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome made it sound like the team wouldn't be pursuing restricted free agents.

“There’s going to be some restricted free agents that we would like, but is it going to be worth giving up a significant amount of cash and cap and a draft pick?," Newsome said at the Ravens' season-ending press conference. "When you deal with that double-whammy, even though the rules have been relaxed, you just go, ‘Nah, no, I wouldn’t do it.’ That’s just my philosophy.”

The bigger threat inside the AFC North to pry away Wallace is the Bengals, because of their cap situation. With an estimated $60 million in cap room, the Bengals could sign Wallace to a contract that includes a $20 million roster bonus (which ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter explains in the video). The Steelers, who are around $11 million over the cap right now, would be hard-pressed to match such an offer.

Cincinnati can make this move and still draft in the first round, because it has two picks this year. The Bengals, who have the Raiders' 17th overall pick from the Carson Palmer trade, would give up the No. 21 pick for Wallace.

Wallace would significantly upgrade Cincinnati's wide receiver group. The Bengals have one of the best young wide receivers in the league in A.J. Green, but they are looking for more consistent production than what they got from Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell. Imagine what Andy Dalton could do with Wallace, Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham.

Of course, the Steelers can make themselves less vulnerable if they put the franchise tag (estimated $9.6 million) on Wallace instead of the first-round tender ($2.7 million). But it will take a massive round of cuts (wide receiver Hines Ward, guard Chris Kemoeatu, defensive end Aaron Smith, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott and inside linebackers Larry Foote and James Farrior) and restructured contracts (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker James Harrison) to make enough cap room for the Steelers to use that tag.

The Steelers have until March 5 to decide whether they will put the tag on Wallace or risk losing him.

Oviedo
02-20-2012, 05:52 PM
Bottomline is that no way I give Wallace a $9m+ Franchise Tag.

I would gladly take the Bumgals #1 so that we could get Cordy Glenn with their pick and still get a good WR at #24 or another OL.

Not sure that Wallace and AJ Green would be a good fit. They would prersent problems but both would want to go deep on every play.

SteelBucks
02-20-2012, 05:58 PM
Ravens, Bengals and the Patriots will all make a run at Wallace. With that said, IMO he's still not worth the Franchise Tag.....not even close.

NottinghamForest_UK
02-20-2012, 06:03 PM
If we could get DeCastro for the 21st pick then I'd be tempted!

However I believe his numbers speak for themselves and he will only get better, still yet to fully hit his peak and gives room for AB and the rest of the 'WR' core underneath to excel. I think you keep your game changers and big weapons!

Sugar
02-20-2012, 06:05 PM
Bottomline is that no way I give Wallace a $9m+ Franchise Tag.

I would gladly take the Bumgals #1 so that we could get Cordy Glenn with their pick and still get a good WR at #24 or another OL.

Not sure that Wallace and AJ Green would be a good fit. They would prersent problems but both would want to go deep on every play.

The Bengals could get scary with Wallace on the field with Green and Shipley. They have two #1's this year, so they wouldn't lose much. The worst thing, IMO, is that Wallace would probably be good for their young locker room. :bungalssuck

steelblood
02-20-2012, 06:14 PM
I can't see the Ravens signing Wallace. They drafted Torrey Smith and he is a similar type of player (not in Wallace's class yet) who showed great potential last year.

The Bengals might do it. And that would be fine with me. The 21st pick is a good return.

49ers are a team with a late pick that could use a burner WR (Ginn isn't cutting it and is more of a return guy).

I don't see the pats giving up a first rounder and paying him top money.

RuthlessBurgher
02-20-2012, 06:20 PM
If we could get DeCastro for the 21st pick then I'd be tempted!

DeCastro likely won't be available at #21, but perhaps we could package the #21 pick and our 3rd round pick to get DeCastro instead of packaging the #24 pick and our 2nd round pick.

Bengals 1st round pick + our 3rd rounder = DeCastro. Gilbert-DeCastro-Pouncey taking care of Ben's blind side makes for a happy, healthy Ben.

Use #24 pick on Alshon Jeffrey to replace Wallace (totally different type of receiver...big bodied red zone target). Then it would be Brown's job to take the top off the coverage like Wallace used to. Jeffrey would be a bigger version of Hines, Sanders working out of the slot, Haley wants to involve Miller more...although my preference would be to not lose Wallace (and losing him to a division rival would be particularly painful), this wouldn't be a horrible alternate...and if they can convince Cotchery to stay (free agency is before the draft this year, unlike last year with the lockout), even better.

Then use our 2nd round pick on Alameda Ta'Amu to get Casey's heir apparent.

On the other hand, if we are going to be able to cover A.J. Green and Mike Wallace twice a year, we might need to use some of these premium picks on a top corner. Ike Taylor gets one of them...would you trust Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen, or William Gay with the other, even with over-the-top safety help? Scary...

SteelBucks
02-20-2012, 06:24 PM
I don't see the pats giving up a first rounder and paying him top money.

Actually, I think the Pats will make a serious attempt to upgrade the WR position. Branch and Ochocinco are about done, they have two first round picks and plenty of room under the cap. They may back off, however, if they decide to tag Welker.

Steelhere10
02-20-2012, 07:43 PM
STOP READING PRESS CLIPPINGS
We are talking about the Bengals who have the cheapest owner in the league.
The Ravens who have double digits free agents on their own team.
Maybe the Pats, but they themselves won't throw money out that the Steelers can't match never have never will.
If a team does , those three are at the bottom at doing so.
Raiders, Skins and Eagles might. But not those three write that down.

phillyesq
02-20-2012, 08:01 PM
The Ravens are projected to have significant cap room, but Ray Rice (who is currently asking for Adrian Peterson money) could take up a significant portion of that cap room. The Bengals are typically cheap, but of concern is the fact that there will be a minimum salary that goes into effect.

In the past, the Steelers have erred on the side of giving a higher tender to players they are interested in retaining. Colon and Starks are two that come to mind. I really hope that the Steelers can sign Wallace to a long term deal, but otherwise, a franchise tag is a real possibility.

SteelBucks
02-20-2012, 08:04 PM
The Ravens are projected to have significant cap room, but Ray Rice (who is currently asking for Adrian Peterson money) could take up a significant portion of that cap room.

They also need to worry about Flacco and Grubbs.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
02-20-2012, 11:16 PM
Baltimore already has their "Wallace" in Torrey Smith. They also have a great possession receiver in Boldin. Add to that a franchise RB (who they need to drop a ton of coin on) and top FB, as well as a solid O line who will be losing a guard with all probability.

Then account for the fact that they are looking at two key LBs who need to either be resigned or replaced and you have a team not looking at Mike Wallace.

frankthetank1
02-21-2012, 08:57 AM
Bottomline is that no way I give Wallace a $9m+ Franchise Tag.

I would gladly take the Bumgals #1 so that we could get Cordy Glenn with their pick and still get a good WR at #24 or another OL.

Not sure that Wallace and AJ Green would be a good fit. They would prersent problems but both would want to go deep on every play.

The Bengals could get scary with Wallace on the field with Green and Shipley. They have two #1's this year, so they wouldn't lose much. The worst thing, IMO, is that Wallace would probably be good for their young locker room. :bungalssuck

the problem is just about every team would be scary to defend with wallace on their team. i agree the steelers shouldnt franchise wallace unless that is the only way to keep him a steeler. letting wallace walk would be a huge mistake imo.

people say he is only a wr a good wr is easy to find, well cant you say almost the same thing about OLB's in lebeau's system? they paid woodley big bucks, i think wallace is just as important to the offense if not more important than woodley. the most important thing to me is wallace is still a young player.

i would have no problems with the steelers cutting older players who make big money in order to keep wallace. smith, hampton, farrior and foote are as good as gone. ward might be gone but he should be cheap to keep. i might even throw a player like harrison in there since he is approaching his mid 30's and makes good money. the steelers need to do whatever it takes to keep the younger talent on the team.

Eich
02-21-2012, 09:11 AM
2011 hurt Wallace a little and maybe that'll end up helping us keep him. Wallace returned to the "one trick pony" (straight line speed) that Tomlin coined him a few years ago. We didn't see him make the tough catches that Brown did. He hasn't been agressive in going after the ball. Too often he's waiting for it to come to him. Maybe he was just thinking too much last year?

I think you can teach him to be better and more agressive. You can't teach speed. I'd like to see him stick around.

phillyesq
02-21-2012, 09:19 AM
The Ravens are projected to have significant cap room, but Ray Rice (who is currently asking for Adrian Peterson money) could take up a significant portion of that cap room.

They also need to worry about Flacco and Grubbs.

Good point.

The Ravens are also a team that drafts well, making the first round pick more of a loss for them. The Bengals have drafted better recently, but their ability to wisely use a first round pick is still in question. Same with the Pats*, who have had a lot of misses lately in attempting to find a deep threat (Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson).

hawaiiansteel
02-26-2012, 03:34 PM
Ravens unlikely to pursue Wallace

February 24th, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS –

A nightmare, one even worse for Steelers fans than (gasp!) Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger not talking for weeks after the former’s hiring, is unlikely to happen.

The Ravens have been one of the teams linked to restricted free agent Mike Wallace through connecting-of-the-dots speculation. But general manager Ozzie Newsome all but took the Ravens out of the running for Wallace, who can entertain offers from other teams if the Steelers only make a tender offer to him.

The Steelers are leaning toward using the highest tender on Wallace instead of a franchise tag. If they go that route, teams still have to give up a first-round draft pick to sign Wallace away from the Steelers.

And Newsome values first-round draft picks as much as Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert does for the same reason: both have been so successful picking in that round.

Newsome also pointed out another drawback of signing a restricted free agent.

“At that point the player and the agent has the leverage because you have to do a deal that you don’t think the other team is going to match,” Newsome said Friday at the NFL Combine, “and then giving up a first-round pick? That first-round pick, the amount of money you have to pay over the next four years, is not like it was in the previous CBA so you have to factor all of those things in before you decide to make that decision. There’s some teams that have two (first-round picks) this year? Could they do it? Possibly but they’ll be thinking about all of those other ramifications.”

Does that mean Newsome has ruled out signing a restricted free agent to bolster Baltimore’s receiving corps?

“When I wake up tomorrow, I just never know what I might do,” he said.

– Scott Brown

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/201 ... e-wallace/ (http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2012/02/24/ravens-unlikely-to-pursue-wallace/)

RuthlessBurgher
02-29-2012, 11:55 AM
Latest on the Wallace decision
Mike Wallace | Steelers | Interested: 49ers?, Patriots?
Posted 8:37 AM ET

In spite of the fact that they leave themselves open to other teams taking advantage of a rare opportunity, it seems that the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be using their franchise tag on wide receiver Mike Wallace this offseason. But that doesn't mean we should expect a flurry of teams trying to sign him to an RFA offer sheet, either.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "It seems to me that Mike Wallace will remain with the Steelers for at least one year because no other team will sign him to a contract. Why would another team pay all that money in order to convince him to sign AND give their first-round pick to the Steelers?"

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: "Don't count on Steelers receiver Mike Wallace going anywhere. The Steelers, who are trying to clear cap room to keep him, will not let him go. The idea that some team will sign him to an offer sheet that the Steelers won't match isn't going to happen. For one, it will cost a lot more to pay Mike Wallace than it would for a first-round receiver. Two, the Steelers would match -- so all you would be doing is their negotiating."

Even so, we simply can't rule out a team making a play for Wallace, especially considering that there are two particular clubs with low first-round picks that are in need of a performer of Wallace's ilk at WR:

- Tim Kavanagh


Jamison Hensley
Is he worth the No. 30 or 31 pick?

"The Ravens are out, and the Bengals would surprise me at this point, too. But I wouldn't rule out teams desperate for a deep threat like the Patriots and 49ers. New England coach Bill Belichick is always thinking outside the box."

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/features/rumors/_/date/20120229#14272

phillyesq
02-29-2012, 12:18 PM
Latest on the Wallace decision
Mike Wallace | Steelers | Interested: 49ers?, Patriots?
Posted 8:37 AM ET

In spite of the fact that they leave themselves open to other teams taking advantage of a rare opportunity, it seems that the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be using their franchise tag on wide receiver Mike Wallace this offseason. But that doesn't mean we should expect a flurry of teams trying to sign him to an RFA offer sheet, either.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "It seems to me that Mike Wallace will remain with the Steelers for at least one year because no other team will sign him to a contract. Why would another team pay all that money in order to convince him to sign AND give their first-round pick to the Steelers?"

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: "Don't count on Steelers receiver Mike Wallace going anywhere. The Steelers, who are trying to clear cap room to keep him, will not let him go. The idea that some team will sign him to an offer sheet that the Steelers won't match isn't going to happen. For one, it will cost a lot more to pay Mike Wallace than it would for a first-round receiver. Two, the Steelers would match -- so all you would be doing is their negotiating."

Even so, we simply can't rule out a team making a play for Wallace, especially considering that there are two particular clubs with low first-round picks that are in need of a performer of Wallace's ilk at WR:

- Tim Kavanagh


Jamison Hensley
Is he worth the No. 30 or 31 pick?

"The Ravens are out, and the Bengals would surprise me at this point, too. But I wouldn't rule out teams desperate for a deep threat like the Patriots and 49ers. New England coach Bill Belichick is always thinking outside the box."

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/features/rumors/_/date/20120229#14272

For what it's worth, I actually know Tim Kavanagh, the guy that writes the Insider content for ESPN. He went to college with one of my friends and we've hung out a few times. Nice guy, but no more of an insider than anybody on this forum.

RuthlessBurgher
02-29-2012, 01:19 PM
For what it's worth, I actually know Tim Kavanagh, the guy that writes the Insider content for ESPN. He went to college with one of my friends and we've hung out a few times. Nice guy, but no more of an insider than anybody on this forum.

And just think...you don't have to pay to subscribe to read our Insider content. :wink: