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  1. #1
    Pro Bowler Steelhere10's Avatar
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    A great read on Wallace, and might make some look different at the situation...

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    Former Bears Johnny Knox validates concerns of almost-former Steelers Mike*Wallace

    By*SteelCityRoller*on Feb 14, 5:55a*1Jonathan DanielWith a roster grown fat with aging defensive veterans and their championship-worthy salaries, the Steelers found themselves stretching the elasticity of the NFL salary cap Speedo teams are forced to perform within. The team was doing everything it could to keep itself together, hoping nothing unfortunate slipped out the sides along the way.Like it or not,*Mike Wallace*had a point.The*Pittsburgh Steelers*found themselves in a bind heading into 2012 as their top receiver watched his rookie contract expire giving the team the right to offer him a restricted free-agency tender, knowing their second and third receivers would be in the exact same position the following year; meaning the team would need to prepare itself for their impending unrestricted free-agencies.Wallace, while not officially the leader on the depth chart, was definitely the production lead the previous two seasons, as the team found ways to use his unique speed to exploit aggressive defenses or provide a decoy to open zones for*Hines Ward,*Emmanuel Sanders*and*Antonio Brown.With a roster grown fat with aging defensive veterans and their championship-worthy salaries, the Steelers found themselves stretching the elasticity of the NFL salary cap Speedo teams are forced to perform within. The team was doing everything it could to keep itself together, hoping nothing unfortunate slipped out the sides along the way.The team took the safe route and offered Wallace the maximum RFA tender level - $2.742 million - which would have required any team which might consider offering him a better deal to return a first-round draft pick as compensation, should he accept their offer and the Steelers decline to match. This would permit the team to delay any decisions until the following off-season (now) to negotiate new contracts, as they would have a better view of how to handle the well-paid ring bearers clinging onto hopes of one last trophy run.Wallace, however, did not agree. He felt he had earned his spot as the team's top receiver for franchise QB*Ben Roethlisberger, and wanted the team to offer him a long-term contract now. His insistence on immediacy stemmed from a fear of injury without a guaranteed future in the NFL. Had he suffered a career-changing injury while playing for his tender, he would have found a significant decline in his negotiating ranges. He even had no guarantee the Steelers would still want him should such a scenario degrade his natural, physical talents.The team held firm to its decision, and Mike Wallace followed suit by refusing to sign the tender offered by the Steelers. He had little leverage to use a holdout as a negotiating tool. He was holding out to prove to the team how strongly he believed in his fear of a premature end to his NFL career, and how important it was to him to know he would be here long term, no matter what.Fast-forward to 2013, and find reports of former*Chicago Bears*receiver*Johnny Knox, who announced his retirement from the NFL due to injury, after a four year career.Knox took his final hit as an NFL player against the*Seattle Seahawks*in December, 2011. He required spinal fusion surgery the following day, which forced him to miss the entire 2012 campaign. Even with constant rehabilitation, Knox is barely able to walk or stand without pain. Although his heart still has the desire to play, as reflected by his statement regarding playing again following his recent official release by Chicago; his body is no longer able or willing.While the specifics of each situation do not mirror each other perfectly, the similarities between Knox and Wallace are undeniable. Knox would have played under the final year of his rookie contract in 2012. Knox reached the Pro Bowl his rookie season for special teams return performance. In 2010, he was the team's leading receiver, helping the Bears reach the NFC championship game; only to fall to the*Green Bay Packers, who coincidentally went on to beat the Steelers in the*Super Bowl.Knox had performed well enough to warrant the team's consideration regarding a new contract to keep him in Chicago, once he reached the end of his rookie deal's obligations. Unfortunately, Knox never made it so far.This is what Wallace was afraid of. His holdout had little to do with $2.742 million dollars not being enough money for playing a game for a living, or a deep resentment toward the team who showed him the most respect as far as draft selection. He wanted the long-term, secure contract he felt his statistics had earned.Whether it is right for a player to put his own career's wants above the team's overall salary cap problems, or the career-wants of his teammates, is better reserved for a morals and values forum; but each NFL career has its own unpredictable shelf-life with only two certainties - it does have an end, and it's over before you know it.In the end, Wallace escaped the 2012 season virtually unscathed and will enter free-agency without his health scribing stipulations; something Knox's career did not permit.. While Knox would have preferred to use such an opportunity to remain with his original team, Wallace seems intent on securing a contract which will prevent his career from being snuffed out unrewarded, like Knox's.Knox should serve as a lesson to Wallace about being grateful for every opportunity you have to do something you may not be able to tomorrow, to players like Brown to play every day like there is no tomorrow, and to the league and team owners to continue to make the game safer and take care of those men whose lives are devastated and tossed aside after sacrificing their own health and well-being to support the league's very existence.He should also serve as a reminder to fans to appreciate your favorite players while you have the opportunity, because they cannot play forever. Appreciate them while they're here, and what they give for the fans and the teams they worship.They're always gone too soon.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Share*on FacebookTweet*this post

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    123 commentsTop free agency targets for Mike Wallace

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    Wow- great article.

    It really does influence my thinking a bit. I still don’t know about the holding out- 2 million plus is still a lot of money for most people and I still think he should have prepared to have the best season he could. However, I do see the value of his concerns more clearly now. Great example in Knox to show the other side of the story.I will assume Mike Wallace’s contract will be an absolute monster of a deal somewhere. Are there any other bigger names likely to be out there this year? I don’t believe so. I think we should prepare to have our jaws drop fairly soon…"The first key to winning is to not lose." Chuck Nollby*VinnySteel*on*Feb 14, 2013 6:53 AM EST*reply**POST A COMMENT NOW↑ Top of comments*↑ Top of page↑ Articles*↑ Behind the Steel Curtain↑ SB Nation

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  2. #2
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    Doesn't change my opinion at all. He was offered at least $8M and and an average of $10M according to rerports. His signing bonus alone would allow someone to live very comfortably for the rest of their life. The bottomline is Wallace got greedy and bumbled the negotiations with the Steelers by doing exactly what they ask their players not to do. He then had a down season that will effect his value. That's on him.
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    Pro Bowler supersteeler's Avatar
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    Don't mean to mess with your thread but it was tough reading. This may help>http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...ury/in/3614167

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Doesn't change my opinion at all. He was offered at least $8M and and an average of $10M according to rerports. His signing bonus alone would allow someone to live very comfortably for the rest of their life. The bottomline is Wallace got greedy and bumbled the negotiations with the Steelers by doing exactly what they ask their players not to do. He then had a down season that will effect his value. That's on him.
    Agreed, it seems he was offered a healthy contract, one that would set him for life in case of injury. He decides not to sign it and play without guarantees. Now, we are supposed to feel sorry for him? No, not buying it.
    Last edited by Shawn; 02-15-2013 at 02:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Doesn't change my opinion at all. He was offered at least $8M and and an average of $10M according to rerports. His signing bonus alone would allow someone to live very comfortably for the rest of their life. .
    so, what was that signing bonus he was offered?? because that (most likely) was the sticking point. average per year means little because NFL contracts are not guaranteed.

    the differences of say a $22M SB and a $10M SB is a heck of a lot. especially for someone who outplayed his comapritvely meager 350K/yr or so rookie contract

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    Yes - a brutal read without paragraphs. Here it is again formatted like the original article:


    With a roster grown fat with aging defensive veterans and their championship-worthy salaries, the Steelers found themselves stretching the elasticity of the NFL salary cap Speedo teams are forced to perform within. The team was doing everything it could to keep itself together, hoping nothing unfortunate slipped out the sides along the way.

    Like it or not, Mike Wallace had a point.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves in a bind heading into 2012 as their top receiver watched his rookie contract expire giving the team the right to offer him a restricted free-agency tender, knowing their second and third receivers would be in the exact same position the following year; meaning the team would need to prepare itself for their impending unrestricted free-agencies.

    Wallace, while not officially the leader on the depth chart, was definitely the production lead the previous two seasons, as the team found ways to use his unique speed to exploit aggressive defenses or provide a decoy to open zones for Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown.

    With a roster grown fat with aging defensive veterans and their championship-worthy salaries, the Steelers found themselves stretching the elasticity of the NFL salary cap Speedo teams are forced to perform within. The team was doing everything it could to keep itself together, hoping nothing unfortunate slipped out the sides along the way.

    The team took the safe route and offered Wallace the maximum RFA tender level - $2.742 million - which would have required any team which might consider offering him a better deal to return a first-round draft pick as compensation, should he accept their offer and the Steelers decline to match. This would permit the team to delay any decisions until the following off-season (now) to negotiate new contracts, as they would have a better view of how to handle the well-paid ring bearers clinging onto hopes of one last trophy run.

    Wallace, however, did not agree. He felt he had earned his spot as the team's top receiver for franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger, and wanted the team to offer him a long-term contract now. His insistence on immediacy stemmed from a fear of injury without a guaranteed future in the NFL. Had he suffered a career-changing injury while playing for his tender, he would have found a significant decline in his negotiating ranges. He even had no guarantee the Steelers would still want him should such a scenario degrade his natural, physical talents.

    The team held firm to its decision, and Mike Wallace followed suit by refusing to sign the tender offered by the Steelers. He had little leverage to use a holdout as a negotiating tool. He was holding out to prove to the team how strongly he believed in his fear of a premature end to his NFL career, and how important it was to him to know he would be here long term, no matter what.

    Fast-forward to 2013, and find reports of former Chicago Bears receiver Johnny Knox, who announced his retirement from the NFL due to injury, after a four year career.

    Knox took his final hit as an NFL player against the Seattle Seahawks in December, 2011. He required spinal fusion surgery the following day, which forced him to miss the entire 2012 campaign. Even with constant rehabilitation, Knox is barely able to walk or stand without pain. Although his heart still has the desire to play, as reflected by his statement regarding playing again following his recent official release by Chicago; his body is no longer able or willing.

    While the specifics of each situation do not mirror each other perfectly, the similarities between Knox and Wallace are undeniable. Knox would have played under the final year of his rookie contract in 2012. Knox reached the Pro Bowl his rookie season for special teams return performance. In 2010, he was the team's leading receiver, helping the Bears reach the NFC championship game; only to fall to the Green Bay Packers, who coincidentally went on to beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

    Knox had performed well enough to warrant the team's consideration regarding a new contract to keep him in Chicago, once he reached the end of his rookie deal's obligations. Unfortunately, Knox never made it so far.

    This is what Wallace was afraid of. His holdout had little to do with $2.742 million dollars not being enough money for playing a game for a living, or a deep resentment toward the team who showed him the most respect as far as draft selection. He wanted the long-term, secure contract he felt his statistics had earned.

    Whether it is right for a player to put his own career's wants above the team's overall salary cap problems, or the career-wants of his teammates, is better reserved for a morals and values forum; but each NFL career has its own unpredictable shelf-life with only two certainties - it does have an end, and it's over before you know it.

    In the end, Wallace escaped the 2012 season virtually unscathed and will enter free-agency without his health scribing stipulations; something Knox's career did not permit.. While Knox would have preferred to use such an opportunity to remain with his original team, Wallace seems intent on securing a contract which will prevent his career from being snuffed out unrewarded, like Knox's.

    Knox should serve as a lesson to Wallace about being grateful for every opportunity you have to do something you may not be able to tomorrow, to players like Brown to play every day like there is no tomorrow, and to the league and team owners to continue to make the game safer and take care of those men whose lives are devastated and tossed aside after sacrificing their own health and well-being to support the league's very existence.

    He should also serve as a reminder to fans to appreciate your favorite players while you have the opportunity, because they cannot play forever. Appreciate them while they're here, and what they give for the fans and the teams they worship.

    They're always gone too soon.

  7. #7
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    I'll be glad when he signs elsewhere just so we can stop talking about him. There are at least 10 teams with over $10 M in cap space. He's going to get a monster deal somewhere. A deal the Steelers can't match based on their own cap and needeing to sign many players in multiple positions. It is what it is. Players come and go. Wallace being a Dolphin won't throw the Steelers into a decade long downword spiral. Time to move on.

  8. #8
    Pro Bowler Steelhere10's Avatar
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    I knew it would be hard to read, I did a quick copy paste from my cell. But OV of they can Woodley, Harrison and Timmons that kind of money they sure could have paid Wallace.

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    The article reaffirms my opinion that Wallace was stupid to refuse the Steelers offer. He risked apparently $10M per to go through this season playing scared in hopes of not getting injured and in hopes that someone else would offer him more. Maybe it'll work out for him. But it couuld have cost him everything had he sustained a severe injury by playing scared.

    And let's say someone does offer him more than the Steelers did. Does that mean he'll end his career with more money than he would have with the Steelers? That's not a guarantee. If he and Brown both signed with the Steelers, they COULD have been the next Swann and Stallworth if they both worked hard. That kind of brand can bring in lots of extra money in endorsements.

    I understand that players have a generally short career and they need to make as much as possible but turning down $10M per from the Steelers (if reports are accurate) comes off as greedy and that you really don't want to be part of this organization.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    The article reaffirms my opinion that Wallace was stupid to refuse the Steelers offer. He risked apparently $10M per to go through this season playing scared in hopes of not getting injured and in hopes that someone else would offer him more. Maybe it'll work out for him. But it couuld have cost him everything had he sustained a severe injury by playing scared.
    THE ARTICLE ITSELF, is stupid... tries to use a guy who gets injured as a good reason for Wallace to hold out and play through the RFA contract.... when the opposite is true... if you worry about injury, you sign the "Antonio Brown-like offer" and secure your future. Just sayin....
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