Interesting times on the Mike Wallace front. First Antonio Brown gets a big money contract just days after Mike Wallace didn’t show up for training camp. Earlier today there was speculation that Steelers were shopping their unhappy holdout wide receiver but those rumors, first reported by Gerry Dulak of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, denied by Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. That, however, means nothing. Finally, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote that contrary to earlier reports that Wallace was seeking money comparable to what Larry Fitzgerald received ($15M per year) he and his agent are asking for a contract in the range of what Vincent Jackson received ($11M per year).
Rotoworld speculated that at the new rumored salary demands there may be several teams willing to offer high draft picks for Wallace.
CBS commented on the lost leverage for Wallace after the Antonio Brown contract and compounding matters is the fact that the Steelers are installing a new offense. They think it’s an opportunity to get a potential WR1 at WR2 prices in the 4th round right now.
FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN
Regardless of what the Steelers GM says we believe they may be willing to make an example of Wallace. The Steelers have a reputation of doing things their way and not caving to threats, demands, or holdouts. They are high on both Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, high enough perhaps to part with Wallace, gain draft pick(s), and spend on Sanders and Brown combined what Wallace is asking for per year, at least until they give Sanders a new deal.
We had written about the holdout a couple days ago before this newest whirlwind of activity and what we said still holds true. You can read the other expert “View” and entire post HERE. But this pretty much sums up our stance…
The Steelers may be the best run organization in the NFL so it’s hard to picture this becoming a prolonged holdout that hurts the team chances of winning. Emmanuel Sanders will be practicing in Wallace’s “X” receiver position for as long as the holdout lasts but we expect an agreement in the next few weeks. Wallace will be 26 when the season starts and is entering the prime of his career with one of the highest YPC average (19.0) over his 3 years in the NFL. He’s a true game breaker and remains a must sign for a Steelers offense that figures to rely heavily on the pass with RB Rashard Mendenhall likely to begin the season on the PUP list.