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Wallace the 120 Million Dollar Man?
- Updated: March 22, 2012
Mike Wallace Is Too Expensive to Leave Pittsburgh Steelers
We’ve all known that money is the reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers could lose wide receiver Mike Wallace this offseason, but now it looks like money is also the reason why he could stay in 2012.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports the reason why the San Francisco 49ers and other potential suitors haven’t made a play for Wallace is the contract he’s asking to receive, one significantly higher than the eight-year, $120 million deal inked between the Arizona Cardinals and their star wideout Larry Fitzgerald in 2011.
A deal that size, combined with the first-round draft pick teams are required to give up to acquire him, makes his overall price tag exceedingly high—so high that no team is likely to make a move.
That’s good news for the Steelers this year, but bad for the team in the long run. The Steelers’ salary cap issues aren’t going to get any better in 2013, when Wallace is an unrestricted free agent, and that kind of big-money deal isn’t something Pittsburgh’s going to be interested in paying even if they had the spare cash.
That Wallace is looking for so much money raises another serious question: could he hold out this year? Considering he’s receiving just $2.75 million with the restricted free agent tender that the Steelers have offered him but reportedly wants $15 million per year, he may not sign the tender.
That seems very unlike Wallace of course, and chances are if the market isn’t there for his services, he’d rather take the field with the Steelers come the start of the season rather than hold out for money the team simply doesn’t have.
However, Pittsburgh still may have a serious problem on their hands. A disgruntled receiver looking for a big payday can cause harm to locker room morale. Hopefully Wallace can recognize his situation for what it is and hope to move on to a place that can pay him closer to what he’s looking for next year.
There is one silver lining about the Steelers’ situation in 2013, when Wallace is an unrestricted free agent while fellow receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are restricted free agents—if Wallace wants that kind of money, the Steelers’ decision is made for them.
They can let Wallace walk while retaining either—or both—Brown and Sanders, without having to make a painful decision.
But at least it looks like Wallace will be on the field for Pittsburgh in 2012, unless his asking price drops or if the report ultimately proves untrue.
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