Mike Wallace appears determined to hold out until he gets a long-term deal from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Todd Haley now on board as the team's new offensive coordinator, Wallace should swallow his pride, sign his restricted free-agent tender and get on the field with his teammates for OTAs.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Wallace still has not signed the one-year, $2.74 million tender he was offered as a restricted free agent. The paper is also reporting that, while general manager Kevin Colbert would prefer to sign his Pro Bowl receiver to a long-term deal, talks have gone nowhere.
For the first time since 1999 the Steelers will have an offensive coordinator hired from outside the staff. Haley will bring a new system, with new terminology, and everyone on the offense will be starting from scratch. If Wallace misses time, he will be behind everyone else on that side of the ball.
OTAs are typically not a big deal, but they are for the Steelers this year.
Having a new coordinator changes the entire offseason schedule. They will use OTAs not to just stay sharp and get some workouts in, but they'll use them to actually install the new offense.
If Wallace wants to be able to earn a big, long-term extension, he will need to have a big season in 2012. If he's not filled in on the new offense, he won't be able to do that.
Per league rules, if the 25-year-old Wallace doesn't sign by June 15, the Steelers will be able to reduce the amount of the tender to 110 percent of his 2011 salary. That would set his 2012 salary at $577,000.
Having to sign the one-year restricted free-agent tender isn't ideal, but it's part of being in Wallace's position.
Yes, a long-term deal is certainly what he wants, but given Pittsburgh's cap situation and the team's coaching situation, he should just be a good teammate and get on the field.
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