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Old 01-07-2013, 03:35 PM   #71
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

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Originally Posted by steelerchad View Post
I wouldn't give up on Sanders or Wallace quite yet.
I think the young guys got a little full of themselves after Hines left. They needed a real pro to keep them in check. The Young Money crew basically sucked as a group this year. The talent is their, they just need some focus.
I understand what your saying, but Wallace was like this the entire second half of last year when Hines was there. He's had plenty of time.

This Young Money crew stuff is ridiculous
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #72
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

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I just can't see us re-signing Wallace either, especially not with Keenan Lewis being a higher priority in my opinion.
Here's a point I can get behind.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:12 PM   #73
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

You're not going to just draft a #1 WR to unseat Brown and Sanders. It's highly doubtful we draft a wideout earlier than round 3 seeing we have immediate needs at OLB, ILB, CB and safety.

Don't worry about Keenan Lewis. He's an tad bit better than average corner that we'll likely overpay (seems to be the trend lately) but should sign relatively cheap.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:53 PM   #74
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

A wide array of issues for Steelers at receiver

By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013



Steelers receiver Mike Wallace catches a touchdown pass between his legs against the Chiefs this season at Heinz Field

2013 Steelers‘ trouble spot: Wide receiver

2012 Starters: Mike Wallace (4th season), Antonio Brown (3rd season).

2012 Backups: Emmanuel Sanders (3rd season), Jerricho Cotchery (9th season).

Analysis: The only player who ramped up his production was Emmanuel Sanders, who doubled his catches from a season ago (22 to 44) but also was on the field nearly twice as much as in 2011. Mike Wallace played more than any receiver (852 snaps), but his numbers were down across the board from 2011. While his holdout might not have affected his production, it set a non-positive tone for the season. Antonio Brown, given a $42.5 million contract in training camp despite having only two career touchdown catches, made five TD receptions but didn‘t replicate his 2011 Pro Bowl season. Even with the change in offensive coordinators from Bruce Arians to Todd Haley and his controlled passing offense, it wasn‘t what the Steelers wanted and needed from a position of perceived strength.

Most likely departure: Wallace, a free agent.

Possible early-round draft picks: Tavon Austin, West Virginia; Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech; Justin Hunter, Tennessee; Keenan Allen, California.

Possible free agents: Danario Alexander, Chargers; Brian Hartline, Dolphins.

Uh oh.

The position the Steelers were least worried about heading into the 2012 season might be the one that concerns them most going in 2013.

Even as big-play wide receiver Mike Wallace held out during training camp, Antonio Brown signed a $42.5 million contract and Emmanuel Sanders looked like a starter in waiting. Possession receiver Jerricho Cotchery added depth and a valuable third-down option.

All Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley needed to do was decide how to spread out all the receptions and all the yardage.

“(Early in the season) we had everything we wanted,” Cotchery said. “We were moving the ball so well. We were growing.”

Fumbles, close losses, injuries and the lack of a running game conspired to ruin all that September optimism.

Wallace didn‘t play like a receiver in a contract year — it didn‘t help that the deep ball was ignored game after game — and Roethlisberger‘s three-game midseason injury layoff proved to be the undoing of a season.

“There‘s a lot of stuff that‘s going to come from this,” Brown said of the Steelers‘ 8-8 season. “A lot of learning.”

And a good bit of rebuilding.

Wallace seems likely to leave via free agency in two months, creating a major void in an offense that must replace the 235 passes he caught and 32 touchdowns he produced over the past four seasons. And, likely, an expensive void to fill.

Despite Wallace‘s downslide this season — he graded out among the NFL‘s top 15 receivers in 2011 but in the bottom 15 this season, based on Pro Football Focus‘ play-by-play analytical breakdown — it might not be easy to replace what arguably was the fastest wide receiver in Steelers history.

“I think one of the things that probably hurt them was that Wallace was one of those guys who didn‘t understand that this is a business,” said former Cowboys personnel chief Gil Brandt, now a SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst. “They paid him for what he did this year, and he kind of played mad at the team and organization.”

The Steelers ended up paying Brown approximately the amount of money they intended to pay Wallace, but he didn‘t exactly play like a No. 1 receiver, either. Brown‘s own three-game injury absence (high-ankle sprain) set him back as he failed to duplicate his team MVP season of 2011, when he was a 1,000-yard receiver and kick returner.

Brown caught nearly as many passes (66) as he did the season before (69), but his yardage dropped from 1,108 to 787 and his punt return average declined from 10.8 yards to 6.8. He also badly hurt the Steelers with second-half fumbles that ended up being the pivotal plays during road losses to the Raiders and Cowboys.

Brown is known to work relentlessly on his conditioning, but he realizes other aspects of his game need polishing before next season, when he might be the team‘s unquestioned No. 1 receiver.

“A point of emphasis for me will be protecting the ball better, becoming a better route receiver and a better return man,” Brown said.

Even if the Steelers decide Sanders can replace Wallace as a starter — Sanders had only two games of 60 yards receiving or more — they must find someone to replace a No. 3/slot receiver who was on the field for 740 snaps.

There might not be an affordable replacement on the free-agent market, which means a suddenly thin position depth-wise might have been to addressed multiple times in the draft — and in a year when the Steelers have numerous pressing needs.

“Wide receiver becomes an issue for them,” said former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, now an NFL Network analyst.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2I6htshJu
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #75
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

Mike Wallace: Whose Money Should Steelers Receiver Get?

BY PETE MARTIN (FEATURED COLUMNIST) ON JANUARY 18, 2013



If Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace isn’t worth “Larry Fitzgerald” money, then how much should the free-agent-to-be get in a new contract? How much is he really worth? The answers the team comes up with will define the 2013 offseason and may change the course of the upcoming campaign.

The Steelers wideout made headlines during the 2012 offseason when he demanded a contract on par with the one Fitzgerald signed with Arizona in 2011 that pays the Cardinals star $16 million per year. Wallace’s comments signaled that the Steelers receiver expected a similarly huge deal from any team looking to sign him.

Very few seemed to agree with Wallace’s perception of himself. The Steelers were clearly not impressed enough by the receiver’s estimation of his abilities to sit down at the table with the then-restricted free agent. Instead of negotiating, the team tendered Wallace and decided to revisit the issue when he became an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season.

Though Wallace’s contention that his play has been on par with that of Fitzgerald’s seems all the more ludicrous following a 2012 campaign that saw him finish well outside the top 25 in most receiving categories, that he said it is understandable in the broader context. NFL players do not exist in a vacuum. Teams and fans can quantify a player’s performance independent of what his peers do, but cannot qualify it without stacking it beside others at his position. Without context, there are no rankings. Without rankings, every contract would look the same.

The problem with what Wallace said wasn’t that he said it. He and his agent were simply trying to frame the upcoming negotiations in a way that was favorable to their interests. In rejecting his demands, the team was doing the same.

Wallace’s error was that he picked a player who simply isn’t his peer in any sense of the word.

It’s not just that Fitzgerald was better when he was Wallace’s age. He was, of course. From age 23 to 26, the Cardinals receiver’s average Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR), which measures a player’s cumulative value over that of a league-average replacement, was 311 per year. Since joining the league four years ago at age 23, Wallace average DYAR has been 261. Part of this difference can be explained by usage. Fitzgerald got about 50 percent more targets than the Steelers receiver during those four years.

It’s also not simply that Fitzgerald was more consistent than the Steelers wideout during his early years. Though he was that as well. The average deviation of Fitzgerald’s DYAR from its mean was 120 yards less than Wallace’s, meaning his performances between the ages of 23 and 26 were far more predictably excellent. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals star never had a season during that period like Wallace did last year, when the Steelers receiver’s DYAR was -49.

No, what really makes the comparison silly, regardless of the differences in output, is the fact that the two just bring very different things to the table. At risk of using a cliché, they are like apples and oranges.

Even if Wallace had had as many targets as Fitzgerald did at his age, his numbers and his impact on the game would still be completely different. The Cardinals receiver is big and physical, a nightmare matchup for smaller cornerbacks. His Steelers counterpart is lankier but possesses game-breaking speed that Fitzgerald doesn’t have. The likes of Fitzgerald will always have more catches, but the Wallaces of the NFL will pile up more yards if given the same number of touches.

So if not to Fitzgerald, then to whom should Wallace be compared? Like the Cardinals receiver, Roddy White, Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson are significantly bigger and more physical than the Steelers wideout, but lack his flat-out speed on deep routes. Also like Fitzgerald, they get a lot more usage than Wallace. For example, the percentage of the Bears’ passes that went to Marshall was twice as high as the Steelers receiver’s share of his team’s throws in 2012.

Receivers like Marques Colston of the Saints are also bad comparisons, as Wallace is not a similarly effective jump-ball target in the red zone. Measuring Wallace against wideouts like Wes Welker also doesn’t work. The latter is short, quick and adept at catching passes from the slot position, none of which describes the Steelers receiver.

From the Steelers’ perspective, the most preferable point of comparison for the purpose of negotiating is probably DeSean Jackson. The Eagles' deep threat signed a contract before the 2012 season that pays him a much more palatable $9.4 million per year. Convincing Wallace that his skills most closely match those of Jackson’s would allow the Steelers to offer their wideout a contract that would not completely destroy their somewhat delicate 2013 salary cap situation.

Jackson is one of the few players in the NFL with Wallace’s ability to get behind safeties and to change the course of a game in a single play. Not surprisingly, his numbers between the age of 23 and 26 are reasonably similar to Wallace’s. The Eagles receiver caught 212 balls for 3873 yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged 18.2 yards per catch, and 3.9 receptions and 70.4 yards per game.

In his first four years in the league, Wallace amassed 235 catches for 4042 total yards and 32 touchdowns. He averaged 17.2 yards per reception, and 3.7 catches and 64.2 yards per game.

Wallace could and probably will argue, however, that he is a more complete receiver than Jackson. Though the percentage of their targets that came on deep routes was about the same from 2009 to 2012 (37.9 percent for Wallace and 38.3 for Jackson), the Steelers receiver’s proportion of deep balls has decreased from around 50 percent to approximately 30 as his role in Pittsburgh’s offense has increased. By comparison, Jackson’s has varied little, meaning he remains something of a one-trick pony.

Pittsburgh’s deep threat could and probably will also contend that this broader skill set has made him more demonstrably valuable than Jackson. The numbers back this up as well. The latter’s average DYAR from 2009 to 2012 was only 115, despite the fact that the Eagles receiver averaged nearly a full target more per game than Wallace.

A better comparison from Wallace’s point of view would probably be to another Jackson: Vincent of the Buccaneers. Though considerably bigger than his Steelers counterpart, the veteran wideout has a similar ability to stretch defenses on deep routes. More importantly from Wallace’s perspective, though, the other Jackson signed a deal with Tampa Bay before the 2012 season that pays the former Chargers receiver $11 million per year.

Interestingly, Vincent Jackson was the amended comparison Wallace hurriedly offered after his “Larry Fitzgerald” money comments fell so flat. Perhaps the Steelers wideout and his team got advice from a statistician, because the two receivers match up pretty well when it comes to their numbers.

From age 23 to 26, Jackson caught 195 passes for 3341 yards and 25 touchdowns. Though this is a fair bit less than Wallace’s output at the same ages, the then Chargers wideout’s yards per reception were 17.1, or nearly exactly the same as the Steelers receiver’s. This indicates that the difference in absolute output was almost entirely due to usage, as Jackson averaged about a full target less per game early in his career (5.4 to 6.4).

If the same number of throws had come their way during those four-year periods, their numbers would have been nearly identical. If both had averaged six targets per game, Wallace would have caught 220 passes for 3782 yards and 30 touchdowns. Jackson would have had 216 catches for 3693 yards and 28 touchdowns. Under that scenario, Wallace would have averaged 3.46 receptions and 60.1 yards per game, and Jackson 3.42 and 58.6.

Further evidence of the similarity between the two receivers is their respective average DYAR over the four years in question. At 240, Jackson’s was just 21 yards less than Wallace’s. And both were nearly equally inconsistent. The average deviation of Jackson’s from its mean was 177, while Wallace’s was 168, meaning they had similar swings in performance from year to year.

Wallace could further argue that at 27, he will be younger than Jackson was (29) when the latter played the first year of his big new contract. This means that the Steelers (or whichever team it is that signs Wallace) theoretically will get more good years out of the deal than the Buccaneers will get out of Jackson’s.

Pittsburgh, of course, could counter that the extra years of high-quality performance are what justified Jackson’s huge deal in the first place and that Wallace’s subpar 2012 is an indication that he is nothing more than a flash in the pan who will never again reach the lofty heights of his second and third seasons.

So, is Wallace DeSean Jackson or Vincent Jackson? Impossible to know at this point. And that's what makes contract negotiations so interesting.

Any team that signs Wallace won’t be paying Wallace for what he did over the past four years. At least, that's what the organization hopes. Instead, his present or future employer will be compensating him for his performance during the years to come.

While Larry Fitzgerald’s, DeSean Jackson’s or Vincent Jackson’s output in the initial seasons of their new contracts might give some indication of what Wallace could do under a new deal of his own, the reality is that no one knows. He might have a year for the ages, or he might blow out his knee and retire from football.

And so the comparisons, though interesting to debate, are only useful as far as they set a range of expected outcomes for Wallace’s performances during the life of a future contract. They allow teams and fans to discard the idea that he’s the next Larry Fitzgerald, but whether he’s an occasional game-breaker like DeSean Jackson or a more versatile weapon capable of putting up numbers into his 30s like Vincent Jackson remains to be seen.

If the Steelers choose to re-sign Wallace, hopefully they'll get Vincent at less than DeSean's price.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...burgh-steelers
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #76
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

Because the Colts and Dolphins have $40m+ in cap space. He's going to get paid, and not in Pittsburgh.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:05 PM   #77
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

Good write up, with numbers that I never could've had the time or knowledge to research. And, I guess when it comes down to it, DeSean or Vincent Jackson don't strike me as players who are on the verge of leading their respective teams to a championship either.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:52 AM   #78
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

For 11 million a year I would let wallace walk. Vincent Jackson is a bigger more physical reciever who I consider better then Wallace. Anything more then 9million a year is to much in my view
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:10 AM   #79
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

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For 11 million a year I would let wallace walk. Vincent Jackson is a bigger more physical reciever who I consider better then Wallace. Anything more then 9million a year is to much in my view
I agree that Vincent Jackson is a better WR. He is more physical and can run better route. But even Wallace agrees to $9M a year, I'm not sure the Steelers can afford it, given their cap situation.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:20 PM   #80
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Default Re: Mike Wallace Has Likely Played His Last Game For The Steelers

Steelers To Take A Wide Receiver In The First Round?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013
By Jeremy Hritz

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver position, one that was thought to be a tremendous strength and one of the best in the league at the beginning of last season, is seriously in question heading into the 2013 offseason.

Malcontent Mike Wallace will walk, which essentially is a positive due to his self-acknowledged lack of focus and true production during the 2012 season. That will leave a diminutive trio of receivers in Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery left to drive the passing game.

While these receivers are shifty and can make plays in the open field, they are not big targets that can out-physical defensive backs for the ball or get behind a defense. Losing Wallace takes away the deep threat component of the offense that the Steelers will either have to address via the draft as early as the first round, or through free agency. While Ben Roethlisberger has made the offense go with less talent at the receiver position in the past, in a league where the top offenses score points in bunches, he will ultimately need a threat if this team is to improve its scoring next year.

It could be telling if the Steelers decide to not add a receiver in the early rounds of the draft or through free agency as it could signal a desire to return to an offense more focused on controlling the time of possession with the running game. Potentially, the Steelers could burn an early pick on a runner, or, add one in free agency. While the Steelers have not been active in recent years in bringing in big-name free agents, based on Kevin Colbert’s dissatisfaction with his 8-8 team, this could be a different year.

Considering the history of the Steelers, they more than likely will not pay big money to land a star receiver, such as Greg Jennings, and if anything, they would be more inclined to sign a free agent running back. While Steven Jackson will be 30 years old next season, he still has tread left on the tires, and he wants nothing more than to play for a winner. If Jackson doesn’t command an obscene price tag, and if the Steelers can manage to do so with the salary cap, Jackson would provide for a physical runner that would automatically boost the quality of the running game. If they do sign Jackson, which I acknowledge is very unlikely to happen, they would still draft a young back in the later rounds, but it could free them up to take a wide receiver with their first overall pick.

While I still believe that the Steelers will draft an outside linebacker, I do not believe that they will select one with their first overall pick. With the offense lacking any true weapons for Roethlisberger and due to their inability to score points, they have to bring in some firepower, and it could result in the Steelers selecting a wide receiver in the first round, and then selecting an outside backer in the second or third round.

The Steelers have lots of work to do on the offensive side of the football, and while the defense is in need of players who can get pressure on the quarterback, imagine how many more games this team could have won if the offense could have generated more than 21 points?

With that said, it is possible that major additions are coming to the wide receiver and running back position. Whether it will be through the draft or free agency will be something worth paying attention to as we march deeper into the offseason.

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/01...e-first-round/
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