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Old 02-23-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, February 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS The Steelers cleared about $8 million in salary cap money Thursday by restructuring quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's contract, a move that may ultimately allow the Steelers to lock up receiver Mike Wallace to a long-term contract.

The Steelers have shaved close to $30 million off their 2012 salary cap and should be in compliance when the cap number is released early next month.

Wallace is the Steelers' most coveted free agent, and the team's salary cap situation had fueled speculation that it wouldn't be able to use a franchise tag on the Pro Bowler.

General manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Steelers were likely to make the highest tender offer to Wallace, a restricted free agent. The one-year deal is worth a projected $2.7 million. The Steelers would receive a first-round draft pick if Wallace signs with another team when free agency begins March 13 and they decline to match that offer.

But that was before the Steelers reworked the six-year, $102 million contract Roethlisberger signed in 2008.

Roethlisberger is the fifth Steelers player this month to restructure his deal. The move could bring the franchise tag into play with Wallace.

The tag comes with a one-year deal that would be worth just under $9.5 million and is guaranteed as soon as Wallace signs it. If the Steelers guarantee themselves exclusive negotiating rights with Wallace by tagging him, they would do so with the idea of later signing him to a multiyear contract.

Colbert said he is confident Wallace, a third-year veteran, isn't going anywhere.

"We want Mike to finish his career with the Steelers," Colbert said. "I'm very confident Mike wants to finish his career with the Steelers and play with a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger and the other receivers we have. Usually when you have two parties that share the same goal, it's easier to achieve that goal."

Wallace said Wednesday during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that he wants to stay with the Steelers but that he is also keeping an open mind.

San Francisco and New England are among teams that need help at receiver and could target Wallace.

Not that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh ventured near that topic yesterday. Asked if he preferred adding a receiver through free agency or the draft, Harbaugh said, "This is just a period of speculation and making hypotheticals. It doesn't benefit us to get into that arena."

Colbert left no doubt the Steelers have identified Wallace, 25, as a core player, even though he endured a second-half slump in 2011. Despite that, Wallace went over 1,000 yards receiving for the second consecutive year and made the Pro Bowl as a starter.

"We think he's only scratched the surface in what he can do," Colbert said. "There's a lot left there that can still be developed. We're anxious to see it happen as a Steeler."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.


Images and text copyright 2012 by Trib Total Media, I

Read more: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1nH51GjSU
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

Wallace signs...Ward is gone
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

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Wallace signs...Ward is gone
I think you might be right.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

Lock up Ward to a long-term deal!
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

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Originally Posted by BKAnthem View Post
Wallace signs...Ward is gone
I honestly think it's more of a case of "Wallace leaves... Ward definitely stays". I also believe it's closer to "Cotchery signs.... Ward is gone".

I think if Wallace leaves, the team will attempt to bring back BOTH Ward and Cotchery. If Wallace stays, they will try to keep EITHER Ward OR Cotchery, not both, with them leaning more towards Cotchery.


Just a hunch.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

Wallace doesnt sign Ward should be gone as the 2 are no comparasion or substitute.

Let Ward finish is 80 hours of community service and be done.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

I'm sure ben restructured his contract because he wants wallace to stay. he's ben's favorite toy
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

If the Steelers sign Wallace to a big deal, the nightmare is going to happen all over again with Antonio Brown next year. It will be the exact same situation of him being a restricted free agent and getting a #1 draft pick or franchising him for well over probably 10 million next year.

i don't see how the Steelers can afford two 9 million dollar receivers. Their stats are almost identical.

If we were talking about Antonio Brown this year instead of Wallace there wouldn't even be a question as to sign him or not. We would want him staying at all costs. The fact the Steelers will have to go through this nightmare all over again next year worries me.

It may be best if Wallace leaves or is franchised for just one year.

If we do lose Wallace we need a lot better then Ward or Cotchery.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

If we did lose wallace then how would we be able to sign someone better then ward or cotchery? If ee had monet to sign a big name guy then why wouldnt we just sugn wallace. Regardless we will sign wallace to a multiyear deal foe about 7the million a year
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wide receiver Wallace within Steelers' reach

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Originally Posted by Kingmagyar View Post
If we do lose Wallace we need a lot better then Ward or Cotchery.
That might be true, but I think we'll be fine. They'll most likely draft another good young receiver and I think Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, and Ward would be fine with the new guy mixed in.

Factor in Heath and Saunders and Todd Haley calling the plays and we should be a damn good receiving offense even without Wallace.
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