The Pittsburgh Steelers made a huge statement to disgruntled wide receiver Mike Wallace last night by signing fellow wideout Antonio Brown to a five-year, $42 million contract. It was a smart move for the Black and Gold because Brown proved last season that he is a viable deep threat, compiling 1,108 yards on 68 receptions.
But the move shouldn't come as a shock. After all, the Steelers are notorious for making examples of players who have a warped perception of themselves (e.g., Plaxico Burress Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes)
Don't get me wrong, Mike Wallace is a legitimate deep-threat receiver, but he felt he was more important than the team and now that Brown has essentially taken whatever cap space the Steelers originally had planned on using for him, he's unlikely to play a down for the Steelers this season.
Enter the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams are in a division with a team that seems primed to be perennial Super Bowl contenders in the San Francisco 49ers. If they want to make a run in the division any time soon, they'll need to continue to add playmakers on both offense and defense.
St. Louis especially needed wide receivers and they drafted receiver Brian Quick out of Appalachian State in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft in order to add youth and playmaking ability to the receiving corps. Although Quick has impressive size (6'4", 220 lbs.) and speed for the position, he has yet to play in the NFL and for all we know, may never pan out.
Mike Wallace, who is a restricted free agent, is also a bona fide playmaker on offense. But the Steelers seem content to move on from him. While the Black and Gold might not be able to acquire a first-round pick for Wallace, the Rams have plenty of draft picks they could offer Pittsburgh, thanks to the blockbuster trade with the Redskins for the second-overall pick in the 2012 Draft.
It's a win-win for both teams. Pittsburgh likely receives fair value for an offensive playmaker and St. Louis gets an immediate No. 1 receiver for Sam Bradford. Not to mention, the Rams have a hard-nosed head coach in Jeff Fisher that can get the most out of Wallace. Plus, there's plenty of cap room to satisfy Wallace's (obviously delusional) money demands.