At the onset of free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to tender wide receiver 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.
With offseason workouts underway, Wallace has been absent. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates, namely Ike Taylor, who spent some time with the disgruntled wide out over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend:
“There is a lot of frustration with Mike right now,” Taylor said. “He wants to be here. … But at the same time he wants his paper. Mike feels like he outperformed his last contract. But he’s dealing with a monster, and that’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
The problem with this stance is that the Steelers literally do not have the money to spend. Pittsburgh has built a very formidable roster through the draft which has lead to them spending the cash necessary to keep the players they want from leaving. This has pressed their budget right up against the salary cap. I wish the Steelers would step up to the plate and make a trade that would see Wallace get the payday he’s looking for while giving Pittsburgh the draft picks necessary to replenish an aging roster. That has no chance of happening. This ordeal will likely take the summer to play out.