Mike Wallace Is a Restricted Free Agent. Why Hasn’t He Received An Offer? – At the beginning of free agency, an unexpected name hit the restricted free agency pool: Mike Wallace. Due to cap issues and increasing player salaries, the Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to make some budget related decisions. Along with cutting fourteen year veteran, and four time Pro Bowler Hines Ward, the Steelers were forced to tender Mike Wallace at the first round level.
Signing that offer sheet would keep Wallace in the Black & Yellow for the 2012 season at the dirt cheap price of $2.7 Million. The Steelers salary cap situation kept them from slapping Wallace with the franchise tag. Even that would have been a questionable move. The franchise tag for a wide receiver this season is $9.4 Million. That probably would have cost them the chance to re-sign up and coming wide out Antonio Brown, who is due for a new contract after the 2012 season.
If Wallace were to sign an offer sheet from another team, that team would be forced to give the Steelers a first round draft pick along with whatever contract parameters were worked out with Wallace. That was seen as a small price to pay for a wide receiver with Wallace’s talent and it was widely expected that a team with obvious needs at the position would make a move for him.
Here’s how things played out for the teams that would have made logical fits:
- Chicago Bears – Traded a 2012 3rd Round Pick + a 2013 3rd Round Pick for mercurial wide out Brandon Marshall
- New England Patriots – Signed free agent Brandon Lloyd
- San Francisco 49ers – Signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham (check out that sideline catch in the Super Bowl one more time)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Signed Vincent Jackson (5 years/ $55 Million)
Now, there’s still plenty of time for things to change between now and the April 20th deadline for offers to restricted free agents, but smart money says Mike Wallace will be staying put.