If the Steelers want to keep Mike Wallace, there’s nothing he can do to prevent that.
However, he can try to force the Steelers’ hand to either pay him or trade him.
And that’s exactly what he and his representatives are doing.
Less than 24 hours after a league source told me that a handful of teams are interested in trading for Wallace leading up the NFL draft scheduled for two weeks from today, news leaked that Wallace doesn’t intend on showing up to any of the Steelers’ offseason activities in protest of his first-round tender.
It isn’t by coincidence that the news was leaked that Wallace doesn’t plan to sign his restricted free agent tender by the April 20 deadline only weeks before the draft, it is strategy.
Even though Bus Cook’s plan of planting information that his client would be a major player in the restricted free agent market this year because of the new CBA rule that requires only a first-round pick as compensation rather than a first and a third backfired, that doesn’t mean this tactic won’t.
There was no way that any team would give up a first-round pick for Wallace along with signing him to a lucrative long-term contract on the RFA market, and that became apparent early on.
However, it is very attractive to teams to try to get Wallace via a trade because it would definitely command less than a first-round pick it would’ve cost them on the RFA market.
Also, it is very attractive for Wallace to go to a team that is willing to pay him the excess of $10 million per season he is demanding.