“The sooner the better as far as we’re concerned but there’s two parties to it. We’ll have to see what we agree on so I don’t want to put any particular time frame on it or restrictions on it because these things take time and I wouldn’t want to box myself in on it.” – Art Rooney II
That’s Arty talking about the Steelers’ whimsical thoughts of signing Mike Wallace to a long term deal. The reason why Art and the Steelers don’t want to put a time frame on it and box themselves in is that they feel content to keep Wallace at the tender they placed on him a couple weeks ago. I’ll even go as far to say that they won’t sign him at all this year and then franchise him next season. That gives the Steelers two years of productivity out of a wide out who could potentially get big bucks when he becomes an unrestricted next season.
Sorry, but the longer a deal is not done, and the more I keep hearing from the front office this kind of drivel like what we see above, the more it’s hard to believe that the Steelers will make an honest attempt to offer him a big long term deal. Oh sure, they’ll offer him a long term deal, but it will be in the range of $8-9 million – far from the $10+ Wallace wants. It’s a bit of a game – bait other teams to jump at Wallace so they can get that second first round pick to either use or trade, and if that doesn’t work just keep Wallace on the cheap.
How the game will end is unknown. I’d be of the notion to think the other GM’s in the league are smart enough to see the Steelers’ play and not take the bait. After all, why rush to sign a receiver to big money when his own team isn’t willing to sign him the same?
Thoughts? Is Rooney playing a bit of a game with this whole Wallace contract, or is he truly laying awake at night trying to figure out who to cut/restructure in order to find the funds?