Mike Wallace Contract Situation Takes Ugly Turn with Antonio Brown Extension

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws the ball prior to the start of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have just signed their star wide receiver to a fat five-year contract, and Mike Wallace isn't the one signing his name on the dotted line. 

Antonio Brown is the one getting a pay raise, according to USA Today's Nate Davis:

It would seem the Pittsburgh Steelers sent a not-so-subtle message to unhappy WR Mike Wallace on Friday. They did it by signing fellow WR Antonio Brown to a five-year extension through the 2017 season. NFL Network reports it's worth up to $42.5 million.

The Steelers haven't had any issues keeping the players they like in the past. That is one of the biggest reasons they have been a playoff contender more years than not. Brown turned into Ben Roethlisbeger's favorite target towards the end of last year, and he's being rewarded for his hard work.

This move signals that Wallace and the Steelers could be in for an extended row because the Steelers don't value Wallace as much as Wallace values himself.

There's no doubt that they'd love to have him in camp and signed to a long-term deal. Wallace's demands were too excessive, though, as we heard reports back in March that he was looking for a Larry Fitzgerald-type contract, according to The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows.

Then, on July 25, the Steelers announced that they were no longer going to negotiate with Wallace after he failed to show up for training camp, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers have had enough of Wallace's unreasonable demands, and now they've put the ball squarely in his court. 

Wallace may be one of the NFL's most talented young receivers, but he has only performed at a high level for two years. Furthermore, he wouldn't be nearly as productive if not for Brown's production on the other side of the field. 

The Steelers are an organization that doesn't put one player's value over the team. Wallace needs to come to an understanding about that concept quickly, or he's the only one who will lose out in 2012.