The Steelers took the next step to securing restricted free agent Mike Wallace by announcing that they have placed the first round tender on him. They’ve now ensured the right of first refusal for any offer sheet he may get from another team in the league.
The team also announced that they extended tender offers to Ryan Mundy, Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster, David Johnson, and Keenan Lewis. We’ll have additional information and thoughts on the draft round tenders of those players soon.
The first step in this process was when GM Kevin Colbert talked about the importance of making sure that Wallace retires a Steeler. Colbert mentioned that they’re just scratching the surface of what Mike Wallace is capable of and that when both parties have a desire to get a deal done, more often than not they are able to work it out.
With Wallace now tendered the highest amount possible they Steelers have done all they can do short of franchising him which is no longer an option, while they work on a long term deal. While many feel that he will garner significant interest in the free agent market; restricted players are not usually a hot commodity. NFL teams are not as likely to give up their first round pick and pay a player a significant amount of money.
According to an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio a couple weeks ago, Wallace said he would like to remain in Pittsburgh but he knows this is a business. The Steelers front office and Wallace’s agent have been in talks since before the combine but the team has also been busy trying to free up additional money to sign players like #17.
Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders were each drafted within the last 3 years and all have a significant impact in the continued growth and success of the Steelers offense. Keeping them together will not be easy but you have to start somewhere, and this is that first step.