Report: Mike Wallace To Leave Tender Contract Unsigned
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday afternoon Steelers restricted free agent WR Mike Wallace is not planning to sign his RFA tender offer from Pittsburgh. It's a one year guaranteed contract worth about $ 2.7 million.
In doing so, he's saying he's not playing until he gets the contract he wants.
His motivations behind this could be numerous, but at its core, it's a leverage move by Wallace and his agent to negotiate a higher long-term contract - something both sides have said they want.
By not signing his tender, Wallace is stating he won't play without a long-term deal, or, essentially, he intends to hold out until he gets an extended deal to his liking.
It could also be simply a veiled threat (incidentally, leaked to one of the most followed sports writers in the media) to force the Steelers to continue pressing on in negotiations.
It's perhaps not a coincidence news of Wallace's alleged desire to hold out came at approximately the same time the Steelers announced a two-year deal for free agent WR Jerricho Cotchery.
Speculation rules supreme this time of year, but the fact is the Steelers will want to avoid a holdout situation, but are not likely to be bullied by a player with Wallace's level of tenure with the team.
Keep in mind, and this isn't being reported, the Dolphins traded then-restricted free agent Wes Welker to the Patriots for a second round pick, and a seventh round pick, in 2007. It's not as if the Steelers couldn't trade Wallace and his contract demands for a suitable bounty, and leave the future contract negotiations to another team.
If the allegation is true (and the idea of Wallace wanting a Larry Fitzgerald-sized contract to leave Pittsburgh still hangs in the air, essentially unconfirmed), consider the gloves off between the organization and its biggest big-play receiver.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain