Wallace wondering what Cleveland is like in December.... Photo credit: Charles LeClaire

Steelers Should Prepare for Life After Wallace


 

It is the time of the year when we blogger types are struggling for things to write about and if you don’t believe me check out the NFL website.  Wow, are those folks struggling to find a story with any traction.  They invested a good portion of last week’s bandwidth to the Randy Moss comeback attempt.  While it’s true that getting information out of our beloved Steelers can be difficult; and by difficult think Cold War era Soviet Union information difficult, Comrade, there is a real piece of red meat to nosh on.  It is the Mike Wallace restricted free agent situation (not related in any way to last week’s Bonnie Situation).  We know the following to be factual:  1) Wallace is very fast man.  2) Wallace is at the end of his rookie contract that paid him a whopping $400,000.00 last season.  3) Players get paid.  4) Other NFL teams (or, hell, CFL teams) can offer Mike Wallace a big ‘ol box of cash to play for them and the Steelers can either match that team’s offer or get said team’s first round draft pick.  5) Steelers are in a bit of a pinch as far as the salary cap goes (and by ‘a bit of a pinch’ I mean Holy Shit, Omar, did you forget there was a decimal point there, bit of a pinch).  6) Some team is going to offer Mike Wallace a king’s ransom to come and play for them.  7) Wallace is a former Steeler pretty much as soon as free agency hits.

Ok.  I know not all of those things are concrete facts.  I will leave that up to serious journalists like Jason LaCanfora (snort, snort, choke, puke.  Seriously, that dude is wrong more often than a weather man).   If the Steelers did decide to match another team’s, the 49ers, Patriots, Bengals, Ravens (TCSFB), offer that would only make Pittsburgh’s already bleak salary cap situation bleaker.  The Steelers have made a couple of cuts already, including part time starter McFadden, and restructured some contracts; Colon and Woodley to name two but it’s been reported that they are still in the neighborhood of 12 million over the cap right now.  What a neighborhood!  It will cost the Steelers about 4 million to sign their draft picks.  That is more debt, not less (I’m no Omar Kahn but I think that’s what they’re trying to avoid). 

The Steelers will no doubt have to shed some well known players and the hefty contracts that go with them.  The list of the potentially gone could read like yesterday’s starting lineup:  Starks, Foote (not Larry!!), Farrior (OUCH!), Ward (C’mon Man), Hampton (Big Snaaaack!!!)…. I can’t go on.

There have been several idiots on the radio demanding that the Steelers do anything and everything to sign the winged footed Wallace to a long term deal.  Those knuckleheads want the home team to match any offer so that Ben has a target to throw to.  IF the Steelers did that, or even worse put the franchise tag on Wallace, they would be tripling their salary cap constipation next year when Brown, Sanders, AND Wallace would ALL be free agents.  Not to mention the money the Steelers would sink into Wallace would prohibit the signing of other players to put on the field for all of that blocking, tackling, and running of the ball. 

Is there a bright side?  Sure.  Kevin Colbert is a master drafter.  Mike Wallace was a third round pick.  The Steelers will get a first round pick for Wallace when he leaves (spoiler alert: He’s leaving).  That is two picks in the first round for Colbert, Tomlin, and Rooney to fetch.  I think Pittsburgh’s front office is actively chumming the waters right now to get Wallace’s suitors in a frenzy.  Hopefully a team with a higher draft pick than the above mentioned will get in on the bidding and give Pittsburgh an even better deal for Wallace.

Hunker down and grab the remote.  Rich Eisen is getting ready to run the 40 at the combine.

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  • DomDiTolla

    While I believe that the Steelers should do everything in their power to sign Wallace, as well as cut some of the dead-weight veterans, some team is just going to ignore the 1st Round tender price and pay top dollar for him that the Steelers just don’t have. And sadly, the Steelers will just have to watch him walk.

    If that happens, the Steelers should be looking for a Tall and field stretching WR in this Draft. It’s a decent class for that type of player. But we will just have to wait and see what happens

  • DomDiTolla

    @DomDiTolla Disregard that one. Lol. Read the news that Ben saved the team around $8 million by restructuring deal and the team is near cap level. Now it’s just a matter of cutting a couple Veterans and a couple more restructures and Wallace should be back at least with a Franchise Tag until a long term deal is reached! Hooray!

  • dbuzard

    @DomDiTolla That sets up my next post: Holy Shit The Steelers Signed Wallace!!

  • LOTUSMAN1

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are NOT going to lose Wide Receiver Mike Wallace to FREE AGENCY, as “some” would lead you to believe. The MAJOR and MASSIVE re-structuring of Veteran contracts has a Two-fold purpose. The FIRST is to create Salary-Cap room to offer Mike Wallace a 4 Year contract in the neighborhood of &30 Million Dollar$. The second is so that they can enter the Free Agent market in pursuit of New Orleans Saints Four time Pro-Bowl Guard Carl Nicks. They are “targeting” Alabama Inside LInebacker Dont’a Hightower with their First Round selection in he upcoming Draft. Hightower is a “Tackling-Machine” whose strength and speed are a RARE combination for a man of his stature. The MAIN reason that they want him so badly, is the fact that he has played in the (3-4) System since the start of his Collegiate career, a PERFECT fit in The BLITZBURGH Scheme… They will be releasing current Inside Linebackers Larry Foote, and James Farrior, who @ age 37 and a Salary-Cap figure of $6.275 Million Dollars, simply cannot be retained. As for Larry Foote, he can be replaced by Jason Worilds a current roster player.This WHOLE blog started with the subject of Wide Receiver Mike Wallace, so I suppose it should END on that note as well…  “STEELER-NATION” – Mike Wallace will with the PITTSBURGH STEELERS through @ least 2016. The Cincinnati “Ben-gals” will make a “run @ him”, and it will be tempting for Steelers Management to take the offer, as it would include either First Round draft pick #17 (from the Oakland Raiders from the Carson Palmer trade last season), or the #21 First Round selection earned by The “Ben-gals” last season. But being THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS (An Organization of GREAT CHARACTER), the deal will be REJECTED & Mike Wallace will spend the next Four Seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler. If by chance the offer were to be accepted, The Steelers would DEMAND the #17 pick, and reject the #21 First Round selection as COMPENSATION, it is their RIGHT under N.F.L. Compensatory Rules, to do so. So “STEELER-NATION” DO NOT GET YOUR “panties in a bunch” over all this “talk” of Mike Wallace “hitting the road”, in this off-season!  ALL THE BEST! GO STEELERS!!

  • RickHarmon

    I’m tired of this topic already ..we have way more issuses to address then Wallace.. speedy WR are a DIME a dozen..so are we gona break the bank and lose Brown and Sanders Next year? Or address more needs and still pick up a formidable reciever via the draft? If Wallace OS really concidering the Bunngles or The Brownies because of $
    then I say farewell, kick rocks! That’s a slap in the face to those players re-doing their contracts in big part to keep him in black and gold..No player is above the team, especially a 3rd year player with average hands and suspect route running..if anything I’d give Brown an extension and take those draft picka

  • RickHarmon

    @DomDiTolla
    I agree 100% Dom.. seems like “The Kid” doesn’t wana be in the Burgh with those comments he made recently anyway..maybe he’s believing his own hype..don’t get me wrong I’d love to see him back but like I said unless your Big Ben you’re expendable..I’ve been a Steeler fan since 78 and trust me if Hines Ward was expecting the $ Wallace is during the end of his “1st” contract he would have been
    out the door too..I feel bad for those fans who bought that #17 Jersey..consider it a throw-back now

  • LOTUSMAN1

     @DomDiTolla NOT GOING TO HAPPEN DOM! I HAVE A COUSIN IN THE STEELERS FRONT OFFICE WHO HAS ASSURED ME THAT A  4-YEAR, $34.8 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT HAS BEEN WRITTEN AND IS TO BE PRESENTED TO MIKE WALLACE AS EARLY AS TUESDAY AFTERNOON. HE WILL BE WITH THE STEELERS UNTIL THE END OF THE 2016 SEASON. THE CONTRACT IS SAID TO BE STRUCTURED AS SUCH: 4-YEARS @ $34.8 MILLION DOLLAR$, OF WHICH $14.8 MILLION DOLLAR$ IS A “SIGNING BONUS” & HIS SALARY-CAP NUMBER WILL BE A MERE $5 MILLION DOLLAR$ PER SEASON OVER THESE FOUR SEASONS.  THEY WILL CUT NOSE TACKLE CASEY HAMPTON, DESPITE EARLIER REPORTS TO THE CONTRARY & HIS $6.375 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT. THEY ARE PURSUING NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (ALL-PRO) GUARD CARL NICKS AS WELL, AND HAVE A V-E-R-Y SIMILAR CONTRACT OFFER TO MAKE TO HIM AS EARLY AS THURSDAY AFTERNOON IN LOUISIANA @ HIS HOME!!
     
     SO DO NOT FRET ABOUT ALL OF THESE RUMORS OF OUR LOSING OUR “DEEP THREAT” MIKE WALLACE!  TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, MY COUSIN HAS BEEN IN THE STEELERS ORGANIZATION IN MANY CAPACITIES OVER HIS 22 YEAR CAREER WITH THE ORGANIZATION. BUT HAS SPENT THE LAST 8 YEARS IN THE “FRONT OFFICE” & HAS N-E-V-E-R STEERED ME WRONG AS YET!  SO JUST HOLD YOUR HORSES, AND REMEMBER WE STILL HAVE SEVEN+ WEEKS BEFORE THE DRAFT!
     
     BY THE WAY READ MY POSTS UNDER lotusman1
     
    ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DOM!
     
    MIKE MARSHALL 

  • DomDiTolla

     @LOTUSMAN1 Maybe you should have read what I posted minutes after I saw Ben restructured his deal.   I said they would try and sign Wallace to a long term contract, and the Franchise Tag would be there just in case.  It’s just a few lines up, read for yourself.

  • LOTUSMAN1

    @DomDiTolla MY COUSIN ASSURED ME THAT THE “FRANCHISE TAG” WILL NOT BE USED ON MIKE WALLACE, AS THIS WOULD DEMAND THAT HIS ANNUAL SALARY INCREASE TO A MINIMUM OF $9.415 MILLION DOLLAR$ PER SEASON. THE STEELERS WILL N-O-T GO THAT HIGH! THE NEARLY $35 MILLION DOLLAR OFFER TO BE PRESENTED TO MIKE WALLACE THIS WEEK, WILL BE THEIR FIRST AND FINAL OFFER. IF HE DOES NOT ACCEPT IT, WE WILL REAP THE BENEFITS OF A SECOND FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK. HE WILL NOT WALK, WITHOUT THE STEELERS ORGANIZATION RECEIVING A FIRST-ROUND PICK IN COMPENSATION. BEN RESTRUCTURING HIS DEAL & FREEING UP ANOTHER $8 MILLION DOLLARS MAY STILL NOT BE ENOUGH TO ENSURE WE RESIGN MIKE WALLACE. I THINK IT IS GOING TO TAKE THE RELEASE OF INSIDE LINEBACKERS JAMES FARRIOR ( @ $6.3 MILLION AGAINST THE CAP), & LARRY FOOTE (@$3.255 MILLION AGAINST THE SALARY CAP). THEY HAVE “TARGETED” ALABAMA INSIDE LINEBACKER DONT’A HIGHTOWER TO REPLACE FARRIOR & AND BELIEVE STEPHENSON SYLVESTER CAN FILL THE VOID LEFT BY THE DEPARTURE OF LARRY FOOTE. MIKE WALLACE WILL BE A PITTSBURGH STEELER THROUGH THE END OF THE 2016 SEASON. I QUESTION WHETHER HE IS TRULY WORTH THIS PRICE, AS HIS PRODUCTION SLIPPED FROM 92.5 YARDS PER GAME THROUGH THE FIRST 9 GAMES, TO 42.3 YARDS PER GAME OVER THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON…  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS DOM??

  • DomDiTolla

     @LOTUSMAN1 The Franchise Tag would simply be used to keep him around and buy time for him to sign a long term deal (if he doesn’t sign before Free Agency starts, think Woodley last season who was franchised until he signed his long-term deal) and scare other teams from bidding on him.  It would also cost 2 1st Round picks to get him if he had the Franchise Tag on him (as opposed to the one if they can’t match the offer sheet as an RFA).
     
     
    Either way, the Steelers should be fine and will retain Wallace as I stated previously.  I also don’t expect them to go after Carl Nicks or any other big-money Free Agent.  They’ve never done that, and they will likely need funds to sign Wallace and their Draft Picks.  Plus New Orleans should be hell-bent on keeping Nicks on their team.  It would be downright idiotic to pursue Nicks when this season’s Guard Class is the best it has been in years.