Ed: Wallace May Have to Wait Until 2013 for Big Payday
Friday, 20 April 2012 06:52
Written by Ed Bouchette
Today is the last day of Mike Wallace’s attempt to find one of the other 31 NFL teams interested in signing him. The latest report, from ESPN, is that Wallace will now return.
So, over the past week or so, we’ve had these three different reports:
--- That Wallace would not sign his one-year tender from the Steelers and would not attend OTAs.
--- That teams were interested in trading for Wallace.
--- And now that he plans to return to the Steelers.
I can’t imagine where those three reports would come from other than Wallace’s camp.
Starting at midnight, Wallace’s exclusive rights revert to the Steelers. He can decline to sign his one-year tender, which is his right, and skip all the OTAs without repercussion. Those OTAs, by the way, do not start for another month and end the second week of June with a mandatory minicamp that Wallace also will not have to attend if he hasn’t signed his contract.
I’ve maintained all along that the most likely scenario on this would be for Wallace to play this year at that $2.7 million tender and then become an unrestricted free agent next year. I don’t think the Steelers will sign him for anything close to an $8 million average, not with their salary cap situation that won’t be much better in 2013.
The risk is too great. What if Wallace has a 2012 season the way he had the second half of 2011? And what if Antonio Brown has a 2012 season the way he had the second half of 2011? If you’ve signed Wallace to a big deal, you’re stuck and you can waive goodbye to Brown. And don’t forget Emmanuel Sanders, who I think will be an excellent receiver if he can overcome the injury bug.
Wallace has little leverage in this thing, especially with the team he is trying to negotiate. If he holds out, they hold out in contract talks. They have a history of not folding there, especially with wide receivers. I detailed the number of wide receivers the Steelers have either let go in free agency or traded without ever giving them the big contract. The only one they’ve kept is Hines Ward. And I don’t recall any of those other receivers’ coaches calling them a one-trick pony.
Onto some Friday stuff:
--- If you haven’t yet seen the Steelers-Ravens “movie” trailer produced by the NFL, here it is:
--- Add Jim Rome to the long list of people who do not like the Steelers 1934 uniforms:
--- James Harrison, writing on Twitter, got his history a little wrong but his sentiment on the throwbacks was clear: “There's a reason these jerseys were from 1932. it's 2012 now though, so send them back!!! lol"
--- YOU: The condition in which Jonathan Dwyer showed up last year disappointed everyone. Have you seen him at Southside yet and does he look good to go? With Redman a lock and Batch having a unique skill set, does it look like Dwyer and Clay will battle for the same roster spot because of their similar running styles? Can we assume Mewelde Moore won't be brought back? Is Spann just a camp body?
ME: I don’t believe Moore will be back. The others will all get their shots, including Chad Spann, a 5-8 back from Northern Illinois who went undrafted last year. He gained over 1,300 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in 2010. Indianapolis signed him, then Tampa Bay but was only on the practice squad. There is room for at least four, with Rashard Mendenhall on PUP and not counting.
--- YOU: Now that Poe seems to be falling to where he could be available at 24, is he the automaitc pick if he is there, or given who else could be available Glen or Hightower ( I like either of those better) and maybe try to get Chapman from Bama or the kid from Washington in a later round. Also with Adams from Ohio State supposedly failig the drug test at the combine is he automatically off the Steelers' board?
ME: Poe looks like a perfect fit for the Steelers at one point and they might draft him, but the thing that keeps tugging at me are the reports that he did not play up to his ability in 2011 and that his stock rose starting with his combine workouts. The Steelers put a heavy emphasis on playing rather than working out. Those other three you mention are all possibilities, although Josh Chapman is not considered a first-rounder, especially with his ACL injury. As for Mike Adams, he reportedly has been upfront with his reported marijuana positive test and the Steelers did draft a player in the second round who had tested positive for marijuana, another tackle named Marvel Smith.
--- YOU: Hi, Ed. With all of the hype and secrecy leading up to the draft, I was curious if you ( or anyone not in the “war room) has seen a Steeler draft board after the draft?
ME: I can’t recall ever seeing one, no.