A couple days of free agency have gone by and Mike Wallace is still a Pittsburgh Steeler. I find this difficult to believe considering the crazy moves that have taken place over the last few days. Let’s recap a bit the moves made at the wide receiver position first.
Calvin Johnson – 8yr/$132 million stays with Lions
Vincent Jackson – 5yr/$55.5 million to Bucs
DeShaun Jackson – 5yr/$51 million stays with Eagles
Pierre Garcon – 5yr/$42.5 million to Redskins
Brandon Marshall – traded to Bears for some undisclosed draft picks
Teams that are in dire need for a good receiver appear to be ponying up more overpaid money than someone buying concert tickets through Ticketmaster. $51 million to DeShaun – what, is there a $15 million ‘Practice and Meetings’ Fee we don’t know about for this guy? Even Vincent Jackson sets the price tage for a grade B+ receiver too high. No one will touch the Megatron Mega Deal for some time. Johnson is pretty amazing, but roughly $16 million a year? I get a little sweaty just thinking about it – deal won’t matter much if they can’t keep Stafford. Guess William Clay Ford Sr.’s eyes are throbbing hearts over Johnson for helping the team reach the playoffs for the first time twelve years. Even the 49’ers are willing to sign Moss to a one year deal – when was his last good season??? Yet, there’s Mike Wallace still standing on the other side of the line waiting to be picked for the Sweepstakes.
This could mean one of two things for Mike Wallace – A) There’s a team still out there biding it’s time in hopes it can give a half assed swing at signing the speedster because they will be losing a 1st round pick for him. OR B) There’s not really a team out there willing to lose a 1st round pick because every team in the NFL understands the tight pockets the Steelers have and will not be matching any kind of deal that is now expected to be worth over $10 million a year. Wallace could be sticking around after all.
Wallace is better than Garcon, D. Jackson, and is very close to V. Jackson. Because the overpriced bar has been set with these three signings, Wallace will have to get an offer somewhere in the $51-55 million range with a chunk of guaranteed money. That really doesn’t bode well for the Steelers in matching – something I don’t think they ever intended on doing anyways. But these signings yesterday pretty much put him out of reach. Most teams will probably recognize this and back off of Wallace. The Steelers hypothetically “rolled the dice” by tendering Wallace and not offering a long term deal yet. Should Wallace not get a long term offer from another team, the Steelers could cut their offer off at the knees and get a ‘bargain’ for a great young receiver.
Once again, the Steelers are set to make this a win win situation for themselves. For those that questioned the front office by not franchising Wallace prior to the deadline, don’t break out those pitchforks just yet……