Late last evening the San Francisco 49ers signed wide receiver Randy Moss to a one year deal. Why is this big news at site devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers? Because it raises a couple of very potential flags which could be positive should you be in the “We have to keep Mike Wallace” camp.
By signing Moss, the 49ers are for all intents and purposes removing themselves as one of the suitors of Wallace’s services as the speedy, take-the-top-off-the-defense wideout. Could this also be a sign that teams will find that giving up a first round draft pick for Wallace is just too much?
Yesterday, the Steelers placed a first-round tender on Wallace which means that even if a team goes after him the Steelers have the opportunity to match. Should they lose Wallace the compensation is that team’s first-round draft pick in the April NFL Draft. If all holds as is, Pittsburgh will pay Wallace $2.7 million for the 2012 season while the two sides work on a longer-term contract.
Muddying the waters is that Antonio Brown will also be looking for a new contract following next season as well and as you know, the Steelers have never been the type of team to pay big money for one wide receiver, let alone two. The exception of course is Hines Ward but the list of receivers who have left via free agency is long and it’s a practice the team has long participated in so this could create an even more interesting 2013 off-season.
With the Niners presumably out of the Wallace bidding, there are only a couple of teams left that might make such a bold move in signing Wallace. Cleveland has two picks in the first round, the last of which is a t 22, could potentially pull the trigger on this. Making deals like this within the division and with your fiercest rival is typically a no-no however.
Cincinnati has a 2nd first-round pick sitting there at 21, but with AJ Green in the fold and pretty much the same reasoning I used with Cleveland, I don’t see it happening. New England of course is always a possibility with two picks in the first round. Their latter pick is at 31 which many see as the 2nd round anyway so what would they be really giving up? They would also be stealing a top player from an AFC rival, but New England has other needs as well. Many think they could be a team to go after Houston defensive end Mario Williams who will require a big pay day.
There is always the chance that San Francisco could still pursue Wallace. It’s doubtful now, but my what receiving corps they would have!
The good news for Steelers’ fans is that this seems to be a step in keeping Wallace in the Black n’ Gold so for one minute today, we can breathe easy. Unless you wanted that other first round pick of course….