Pittsburgh Steelers Are Smart Not to Trade Disgruntled WR Mike Wallace
The Pittsburgh Steelers are correctly playing hardball with Pro Bowl Mike Wallace. The two sides are at a contractual standstill and Pittsburgh is not going to let this force them into offering him a long-term deal, or trading him away.
Going off information from a "team source" Gerry Dulac, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it was reported that the Steelers "have no intention of trading their Pro Bowl wide receiver at any point this season."
This news is not at all surprising. For starters, Steelers General manager Kevin Colbert told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, and was quoted by sportsradiointerviews.com, that "Mike's not available."
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The root of the problem is that Wallace, like all NFL players, wants a long-term deal, but all that is on the table for him is his one-year tender worth, as Dulac reported, $2.7 million.
This means Wallace can either sign the tender or hold out. He is not free to field offers from any other teams.
Wallace's only power play is to hold out up until Week 11 and still be eligible for free agency in next offseason, but that is far less than ideal.
He wouldn't be making any money while holding out, and sitting out the first 10 games of a season is not the best way to enter free agency.
Also, the Steelers could always slap the franchise tag on him if they were so inclined.
This means, unless Wallace is completely run by spite, he will be on the sidelines for the Steelers come Week 1.
Are the Steelers using the correct strategy with Wallace?
Now, in the above-linked interview, Colbert said that Pittsburgh would not negotiate anything until he signs his tender. This is far from closing the door on Wallace. He could sign his tender and then go to work on securing a long-term deal, and both sides could walk away happy.
Pittsburgh needs Wallace in the fold this year as they are thin at receiver, and the guy is an outstanding talent, but they can't let that force them into foolish decisions.
They are in a position of power in this process, and the path they are taking with Wallace is going to work out just fine.
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