Mike Wallace Shouldn't Make Larry Fitzgerald Money, but Still Should See Payday
Fitzgerald has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark six times in his career, including each of the last five seasons. He's also brought in 10 or more touchdowns on four occasions since joining the league in 2004.
He's what you call an established superstar.
Mike Wallace, a definite up-and-comer, has pieced together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with 18 total receiving touchdowns in 2010 and 2011.
The start to his career is promising indeed, but the two wideouts are simply not comparable heading into 2012 in terms of past success and overall dominance.
According to the oft-speculative ProFootballTalk.com, the word out of San Fran is that Wallace was asking for more money than the eight-year, $120 million contract Fitzgerald received in August 2011.
Not going to happen.
However, that doesn't mean he shouldn't get a big pay day in the near future.
There is no doubt that 18 touchdowns in two years with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons is something that cannot be ignored.
Every team would love to have a productive 25-year-old speedster on their roster.
He made a ridiculously low $555,000 in base salary last season, the same amount as Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson.
Jackson signed a five-year, $50 million contract in free agency. The two are similar in terms of their ability to create separation down the field, but Wallace proved in 2011 that he's more than a deep threat and isn't an off-field distraction.
His route-running has dramatically improved in each of his first three years and he became a go-to possession target for Ben Roethlisberger last season.
Yes, Wallace deserves to be paid like a guy on the verge of emerging as a legitimate No. 1 target, but not at a Fitzgerald-esque price.
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