Mike Wallace took another stand when he did not report to training camp on time, and now apparently the Steelers will take one of their own as the contract impasse between the two sides takes a new turn.
The Steelers will suspend negotiations on a multiple-year contract until Wallace signs his one-year tender and reports to the team, a club source said. As a restricted free agent, Wallace was offered a one-year contract worth $2.472 million last March but he remains the only RFA in the NFL who has not signed.
Wallace, who made the Pro Bowl in his third season last year, cannot practice until he is under contract, either by signing the one-year tender or by signing another contract offered by the team that has now been basically rescinded.
The stance of ending negotiations for a holdout has been taken by the team before, most recently when Hines Ward held out for the first two weeks of the 2005 training camp. However, Ward had one year left on his contract at the time and was pressing for a new one. After ending his holdout, negotiations resumed and he received a four-year extension three weeks later.
Steelers president Art Rooney II declined comment on the situation Wednesday during a press conference to formally announce the signing of first-round draft choice David DeCastro. In June, Rooney told the Post-Gazette, regarding Wallace’s absence from all spring activities, “He should be here.”
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