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Cost of first round tender and franchising Mike Wallace

Starting on Monday, February 20th, NFL teams can begin using their Franchise Tag if they choose. It’s not required that a player be tagged on this date, it’s simply the earliest they can use it. There will be some teams that jump on this right away I’m sure.

It’s very unlikely the Steelers will tag Mike Wallace immediately but they have about 3 weeks yet until the March 13th deadline for free agency to begin. They could tag Wallace or tender offer him the the required $2.7 million to ensure they get first round compensation should they decline to match an offer he gets from another team. There are rumors that the Bengals may try and throw a substantial amount of money at Wallace, but that’s not confirmed at this time of course.

I still stand by my thoughts that when the Rooney’s want to keep one of their own free agents, they will find a way to do so.  Even if the Bengals or anyone else comes after Wallace with a boat load of cash, it doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere necessarily.  If they do and he leaves, the Steelers would end up with the Bengals original 1st round pick. A fair trade off for Wallace? One could argue that either way but personally I wouldn’t mind seeing the Steelers try to keep their 3 top receivers under contract as long as they can. There are still many issues to work out so we’ll have to wait and see but in the mean time, here’s a list of the price tags that Franchised players will carry in 2012:

Quarterback $16.1 million
Running Back $7.7 million
Wide Receiver $9.4 million
Tight End $5.4 million
Offensive Line $9.4 million
Defensive End $10.6 million
Defensive Tackle $7.9 million
Linebacker $8.8 million
Cornerback $10.6 million
Safety $6.2 million

Keep in mind that if the Steelers would franchise Wallace, that doesn’t mean they are locked into that huge cap hit for the entire season. They can tag him and then work on a long term deal during the rest of the offseason, similar to Lamarr Woodley last year.

Franchise tag source

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