The middle of the offensive line has just been shored up with Legursky signing his $1.26 million tender from the Steelers. Legursky is the line’s ‘Everyman’ – he filled in for Pouncey on numerous occasions, took over Kemoeatu’s spot at LG, and filled in on the right side as well. The guy looks like Verne Troyer when he stands next to most others on the line, especially Max Starks. But he is agile and strong. Never one to get a big push off the snap, he’s just become one of the solid utility players for the Steelers. ‘Legursky! Get in there and fix this please!’ could probably be heard from the sideline anytime Kemoeatu got nailed with a penalty for being a dumbass.
Depending on how the draft goes, Legursky could be playing for a spot to start on the line – primarily at LG. We know that the Steelers will be addressing the offensive line during the draft. Whether they will go guard or tackle is yet to be seen. Regardless, Essex (also freshly inked) and Legursky will have their hands full during camp. That tender won’t be guaranteed. Then again, both of these guys are used to that.
In other free agency moves (or lack there of) Mike Wallace is
holding outwaiting on the Steelers to make a move. News has surfaced
that Wallace won’t sign the Steelers tender. That can really only mean one thing – no one
thought he was worth was willing to give up a first round pick in order to sign him. That’s gotta hurt the ego a little bit., especially after he just died a few days ago. Oh wait…..
Wallace is walking a risky road to the start of the 2012 season. ‘Hold out’ and the Steelers are two things that mix as well as oil and water. But, Wallace has every right to do so. Here’s the deal – Wallace has eight days to hear an offer from another team (highly unlikely if he hasn’t had one yet). After those eight days, the Steelers regain the rights to Wallace for him to sign the $2+ million tender, which he said he won’t do. He can legally sit out as long as he wants – all through camp and through the first two months of the season. However, once November 13th hits, and he still doesn’t have a contract, he must sit out the rest of the season. Tell me that won’t be a huge thorn in not only the side of Steelers Nation but also new OC Todd Haley.
Only one name comes to mind of a player who ‘won’ when it came to holding out on signing a new contract with the team: Hines Ward. And I’ll be frank – Wallace is no Ward (yet). And it should be noted that Ward signed within two weeks into camp. The Steelers not only have a habit of not working with hold outs, but they also refuse to do contract negotiations once the season starts (see Polamalu). It appears Wallace’s window is shrinking… as are the amount of zero’s on his paycheck.
If Wallace doesn’t sign soon, he will not be able to participate in spring workouts. So much for learning a new offensive system. But hey, this pony can still go deep every snap. I can tell you that should he not sign his one year tender (and he won’t) he will fall out of favor with this Steelers fan. And I’m sure I won’t be the only one. I can’t stand hold outs. They are about as endearing as eating a piece of sandpaper while sticking my hand in a jar full of hybrid Africanized bees. However, it’s the last card that Wallace has to play in a game he quickly lost the upper hand on. He’s going to play it until he has no choice.
This episode will play out in two ways – 1) The Steelers sign him to a long term contract prior to camp. It won’t be as much as he wants, but he’ll see that it could be his only opportunity to get that big check for a while. 2) He holds out, the Steelers call his bluff during camp, and the Steelers only have to sign him to the $2 mil tender for one year. The important thing to keep in perspective is that he MUST sign SOMETHING. There’s too much money on the line if he does nothing. The following season Wallace is an UFA and is gone because his hurt feelings and pride will keep him out of the locker room. To be honest, I’m not sure which one I would rather see play out.