June 15th came and went and luckily, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace still has his $2.72 million tender on the table. Yes, as it has been well documented, according to the CBA, the Steelers could have slashed that offer tremendously (down to $577,000), but instead have shown the restricted free agent respect and have decided against that even though fans and ownership are starting to turn on the star wide-out.
Over the years, the Steelers have made a conscious effort to offer players what they feel is fair market value while not overpaying. The ironic thing is, everyone knows this, yet Wallace and his agent still decided to play hardball and challenge one of the top organizations in league. Wallace has a right to desire a big payday as he has definitely out-performed his rookie contract, but this is not the way to go about that gaining the haul from the Steelers, if that is what he wants to do. In fact, this holdout tactic goes totally against the good faith efforts of the team by not reducing his tender, something that they have been going on record about since before the recently ended mini-camp.
In fact, Wallace has not shown any interest in building chemistry inside the new offense by missing every voluntary OTA session and the teams’ recent mandatory mini-camp. Something that begs the question, is Mike Wallace worth the money or headache? With the release of Hines Ward, Wallace is the longest tenured wide receiver on the Steelers roster, and he should be there mentoring the young wide receivers vice showing them what not to do.
As this situation with Wallace keeps creeping toward training camp, the outlook is grim on a long-term solution being hammered out. Which definitely opens the door for the Steelers to revisit reducing the tender and extending players who want to be with the Steelers instead of holding out hope that Wallace will come around.
Luckily for the Steelers, next year's restricted free agent wide receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have been watching and have gone on record that they would handle things differently. Maybe the Steelers should move on now and lock them up long-term deal and let Wallace auction his services to the highest bidder in 2013, as that is the direction this contract battle is heading, anyway.
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