Several reports have come from NFL.com, Yahoo! Sports, and some other outlets confirming that the Steelers have no intention of lowering Mike Wallace’s tender of $2.7 million come June 15th should the two side not come to an agreement. The Steelers have the option of lowering his tender to just below $600,000 if Wallace (and more likely his agent Bus Cook) digs his heels in and does not sign.
I’ve argued several times that the Steelers are well within their right to do so and should. The team is in no real danger should Wallace not return to the starting lineup before November. November is the final key date in the Wallace saga – if he wants to play at all in 2012, he will need to sign by then no matter the price tag from the team. Fans must understand that Wallace is in danger of really screwing himself and his career should he hold out. The Steelers have all the power.
So, by stating that they do not intend to lower the tender after June 14th, are we to interpret this as an olive branch from the team to Wallace? The Steelers, as the classiest organization to ever grace the NFL, have decided to not punish their speedster for catching a case of the crazies for demanding too much money. Smart move? Too gracious? It’s a tough call in my corner – it is a gracious move by the Steelers which is good and expected, but I have no reservations when it comes to not putting up with players’ B.S. and money. I think it’s a good move by the Steelers. It doesn’t totally disrespect a receiver that the do indeed covet. However, it still shows (that by stating this now and not at the end of the week) that the Steelers favor the tender over whatever current demand is on the table. Perhaps it shows us that the two sides are not so far from reaching an agreement – less of a Grand Canyon and more like the width of the Mon River at The Point.
So what are your thoughts? Smart move by the Steelers? Or are they caving in a bit too much and too early?