There's still a chance for a team to swoop in, literally at the last minute now to try and steal away Mike Wallace. If somebody does want his services, this is the day we were going to see it. After all the initial hype and frenzy about so many teams wanting him, many feel if an offer is going to come it would be on the last day. If Wallace is still wanting that $120+ million contract, nobody will come within a mile of him.
Just sign the deal man, if you have an ounce of sense in your head you know the Steelers will make good on their word to keep you on the team long term. Holding out is not the answer if you truly want to stay in Pittsburgh.
As the hours tick away on Mike Wallace's opportunity to sign with another team today, so too does the life of restricted free agency for drafted players in the NFL.
Wallace has until midnight to sign with another team or the Steelers retain exclusive rights to him. That would leave three choices for Wallace and the Steelers: Either he signs his one-year tender for $2,745,000, comes to terms on a multiple-year deal with them, or he sits out.
Either way, Wallace and those like him who were drafted and became restricted free agents after three years in the league are on their way toward extinction, thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players union.
The CBA, hammered out last year, mandates that starting with the draft class of 2011, all players chosen in rounds two through seven must sign four-year contracts; those selected in the first round sign five-year deals -- four years plus a fifth at the team's option.
Restricted free agency will be left only to those rookies who are undrafted. Because the length of their contracts are not mandated by the CBA, rookies can sign with a team for any negotiated number of years. If an undrafted rookie chooses to sign for three years, he will become a restricted free agent when his deal expires. - Ed Bouchette