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Steelers Mike Wallace won’t sign tender “until he has to”

Mike Wallace, the biggest deep threat in football today has dug his heels in the sand and has told sources within the Steelers camp that he won’t sign his first-round tender “until he has to.” Posturing aside, Mike Wallace and those that are advising him might want to get together and have a little pow-wow.

Wallace’s entire game up until now has circled around his speed, his speed and well his speed. The Steelers have Antonio Brown on the roster for the serious route running.

New OC Todd Haley has not historically been inclined to chuck the ball deep with any kind of admirable frequency. He’s also a fire breathing play caller that most likely already has Wallace on the wrong side of his temperament.

Wallace like Randy Moss before him is far from a one-trick pony but that is his primary connection to the team and most importantly QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Holding out right now during the conditioning part of the voluntary program is not that serious. Wallace can work out anywhere.

When camp starts in earnest he stands to lose three things.

#1 He is going to lose over $2 million dollars on June 15th if he has not signed the tender. On that date, Pittsburgh can cut his 2012 haul from $2.7 million down to $577,000.

#2 He is going to lose an incredible amount of timing with Big Ben at a time when the offense is getting an overhaul. Believe me when I tell you, he and Antonio Brown may be cool, but if Brown can become the elite receiver in that group, he will gladly slide into that role. Next year, is Brown’s turn to play Deal of Fortune, so if he has the numbers to back him up, Wallace could be left in the cold, twice.

#3 There is a potential loss of goodwill in the locker room. The coaches and the players all understand that this is a business. There is also the time to know when to separate yourself from being about your “business” and doing what’s right for the team. Right now $2.7 million is a little over seven figures light for what Wallace is truly worth.

Now that all of that is on the table, the Steelers have always been a group of their word. The front office has been quoted as saying they want to do a “multi-year” deal.

What Mike Wallace is doing now forcing to make decisions based on confrontation.

There was no huge gold rush to steal him away in the dead of night when free agency started. When Lee Evans gets courted preferably to paying what it takes to get you out of Pittsburgh, there is nothing left to fight for or with.

The feeling amongst most teams is that he does one thing well and that he needs another year of solid production to prove that he is an elite receiver.

The Steelers are saying ‘hey Mike, we think you’re an elite guy, sign the tender and let’s work towards doing a long term deal. ‘

That’s how they do things. This latest sentiment can work against him. At worst if he irks the Rooneys bad enough he could be trade bait this week.

Santonio Holmes was doing well there too. The circumstances may have been different but when they were done, they were done.


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