The Quarterbacks are definitely happy to welcome Wallace back. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Is Steeler Nation Ready To Welcome Back Mike Wallace?

Welcome Back Mr. Wallace! Mandatory Credit: Vincent Pugliese-US PRESSWIRE

Steeler Nation became all a buzz early this week when it was reported that there is a date set for Mike Wallace to finally report to the Steelers and that date is this Sunday.  Wallace has been absent from the Steelers since January, unhappy with his contract situation.  Word is he will finally report and end the longest “hold-out” in team history, sign his tender, and rejoin the team.  The question is; is Steeler Nation ready to take him back?

You’re gosh darn right we are!  Hey I don’t like contact negotiations anymore than the next fan who can’t wrap their heads around the kind of money NFL players make.  This will forever and always be a disconnect between players and fans.  But I can’t blame the kid for wanting to get the most that he can, especially in a league where your next season isn’t always a guarantee.  He just went about it the wrong way, in my opinion.

Hold-outs are common in the NFL these days, but not very common within the Steelers organization.  Technically, Wallace isn’t a hold-out; he was just refusing to sign his tender.  Only players that are under contract but are not reporting (i.e. MJD in Jagoffville) are holding out.  The one thing that Wallace and MJD have in common is they both are overestimating what they are worth to their current teams.  In the NFL, you’re only as valuable as what someone is willing to pay, and while that sometimes means the sky’s the limit for free agents, it’s not the same for RFA’s and players under contract.  Both Wallace and MJD clearly outperformed their previous/current contracts, but neither have the freedom to dictate how much they can get because of their statuses.  Wallace wanted to be treated like an unrestricted free agent and he wasn’t.  I’m not quite sure why Wallace would have gone so long without reporting considering the organization’s stance on not negotiating until he reported.  It’s not like he was going to get a dime more by staying away, and the Steelers have said all along he wouldn’t be traded, and they wanted to sign him to a long term deal.

When all is said and done this is the business side of the game.  While us as fans will take almost everything personal, this contract dispute between Wallace and the Steelers is all business and I guarantee there are no hard feelings on either side.  Wallace will be welcomed back to the South Side facilities will open arms and the remaining two weeks before the regular season begins, Colbert will spend trying to get Wallace signed to a long term deal like what was the plan all along.  It’s a business, Wallace made his point that he thought he was worth more than the $2.7 million tender, and Colbert made the point that they won’t negotiate a long term deal unless Wallace reports.  Like Cris Carter said on ESPN Radio yesterday, “Every dude that has held out eventually reports.”  While Wallace held the leverage that he is an integral  part of the Steelers offense and he’s needed for their success, the Steelers like any other team has the leverage that players want to play and it’s not like they’re going to voluntarily join the Arena League over a contract dispute.

And yes, Wallace is needed for the Steelers offensive success, make no mistake of that.  Antonio Brown, while versatile and hard working, does not get the open looks he does without the opposing defense having to account for Wallace on the field.  We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on what Haley has concocted for this offense so far in the preseason.  Wallace on the field stretches the offense and causes the defense to change their secondary to account for him.  Not only will the front office welcome Wallace back with open arms, but his teammates will as well.  They know that Wallace on the field makes the offense as a whole, better.   There’s no telling how long it will take for Wallace to learn the new Haley offense, but he’s had the playbook this whole time so there shouldn’t be much time to devote to learning the plays.

I, for one, am glad the whole Wallace drama is coming to an end.  It was an unpleasant part of the offseason to have a player in a dispute with the front office, especially since Steeler Nation has such love and respect for the whole organization, including the front office.  But, the NFL is a business and sometimes this is a part of business.  There won’t be anyone in the organization holding anything against Wallace once he returns, so Steeler Nation shouldn’t either.  But Wallace better be in some good shape because if he pulls a hammy in Week 1 so help me God, we are gonna friggin lose it!  Go Steelers!

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Tags: Antonio Brown Ben Roethlisberger Coach Mike Tomlin Kevin Colbert Maurice Jones Drew Mike Wallace Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers Todd Haley

  • DidusayJenn

    Whatever it takes to get us to the SuperBowl this year, that’s all that matters!!

  • Kevin Horvath

    Watching Steelers in the preseason really proved a point that Wallace is not needed for Steelers success. So I strongly disagree with the the statement when you say mike is the cause of Steelers success. Antonio Brown is better than Wallace and his contract says so too. I also would like to suggest that you don’t change words of other people because I’m pretty sure someone would not say dude on a radio interview it is very unprofessional.

    • Brandon

      Actually, Cris Carter is known for saying “Dude” and “He’s a dude.” Make sure you’re absolutely sure instead of being “pretty sure.” And also, to say that Antonio Brown’s contract says he’s better than Wallace makes no sense when you do not know what the Steelers will offer him and what he wants. Mike Wallace is as good if not better than Brown at this point. Please, stop.

  • ken metz

    Wallace is history, we signed Brown for big money. Mike fooled around with the RONNEY’S AND LOST and brown won out at the end……………..

  • Anastasia Ondic

    I am sure ready to welcome Mike back.

  • Tom McConnell

    I’m glad that the Rooney’s stand their ground and don’t let players push them around. They have created one of the best environments for their players in the league. Players find out that the Rooney’s are fair. I wouldn’t say that Wallace is history or that Brown is better. Brown is a different type of receiver. The last receiver of “high quality” that held out was Ward and he was around for a long time. I think that missing camp will hurt Wallace for a few weeks and then he’ll be fine.

  • jayman419

    Business is business, it was his own time he wasted. That’s several weeks during which negotiations could have been ongoing. If Wallace is fit, knows his plays, and is ready to help the team, then it’s all good. By the time Philly rolls into town, no one will even remember that he missed training camp.

    But if he’s out of shape, looks lost, screws up the new verbiage, expects to do nothing more than “go that way real fast”, or has any other problems related to his lack of participation, I doubt anyone will be very forgiving.

    His agent, teammates, coaches, fans, friends, former colleagues (including some who have retired from this organization), and even random strangers (except Snoop Lion) all told him that refusing to sign would do nothing to improve his position. The Rooneys have an established way they go about their business, win or lose, and Wallace was just not the one, could never have been the one, to make their stiff backs bend.