Report: Wallace Could Be on Trading Block After Antonio Brown Signs Rumored Wallace Deal

Steelers wideout Antonio Brown
has signed a new 5-year, $42m extension through 2017 with $8m guaranteed, similar to the offer Mike Wallace was reportedly given. Brown’s salaries are now locked in at $540,000 in 2012, $4.5m in 2013, $6m each in 2014 and 2015.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette originally said on NFL Network yesterday that it wouldn’t be smart for what he considered to be a smart Steelers organization to trade Mike Wallace. He now believes Wallace might be traded during the preseason, tweeting that the Steelers no longer believe they can sign Mike long term.

The tricky hold-ups for a trade would be the Larry Fitzgerald-level money (8-year deal for $120m) Wallace wants from a new team, and the pick a team would give in return.

As absolutely insane as it may sound – with bratty ex-Steeler Santonio Holmes already in tow and rookie Stephen Hill making a lot of highlight grabs and showing physicality at the press -, I would think the Jets might be one of the only teams willing to make a deal, if they would part with Antonio Cromartie, thus opening up some money to pay Wallace. If there is one position of need on the Steelers, it is probably corner. A team like the Redskins (Morgan, Hankerson, or Briscoe), Seahawks (Tate or Rice but not Baldwin), or Broncos (Thomas or Decker) would be able to send a receiver back to the Steelers for Wallace. However, how quickly is Wallace going to pick up the playbook?

In reality, what makes a trade unlikely and Wallace signing his $2.72m tender most likely is that there truly are a lot of great receivers in the league now. Just last season, Julio Jones, Torrey Smith, Greg Little, A.J. Green, and Doug Baldwin all looked varying degrees of great as rookies.

As for a Wallace replacement, NFL Films’ Greg Cosell told Yahoo!: “What Mike Wallace brings to the table, which very few guys in the NFL do, is pure, pure speed. He may be the fastest receiver in the entire league. You’re concerned about that, because you miss that element. No defensive coordinator wants to give up 60-yard touchdowns — that’s just the way it works. Can Brown or Sanders be that guy? Probably not, in terms of lifting off the coverage like that. But a guy like Antonio Brown could be a very good ‘X’ receiver in time. He’s a terrific receiver who will only get better.”

Weighing the importance of the wideout position against the easiness with which the Steelers and others have found great ones, I’d rate the panic level among Steelers fans to be a 5. What do you think?

5 Comments on "Report: Wallace Could Be on Trading Block After Antonio Brown Signs Rumored Wallace Deal"

  1. I’m not panicked at all about this. Wallace is great, but the Steelers can have a great offense without him. If they can somehow get a good CB back in a deal, that would be even better.

  2. I like Wallace, but I don’t see the Redskins getting involved in a trade for him right now. I’m a little surprised the guy hasn’t re-signed with the Steelers by now.

  3. One problem with the Jets theory: Cromartie is not, never has been, and probably never will be, Steeler material. Besides, we really don’t need any more help in the secondary, despite your stance. Sure, our guys fighting for #2 CB are mostly unproven, but Lewis did a great job last year at #3, and I believe Cortez Allen will win the starting job by week 5 — not because Lewis is that bad, but because Allen has hat much talent and physical ability.

    If I was to trade Wallace, I would be looking to either DE or OLB for a trade. Behind James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, we have nothing at OLB close to their caliber. We also need some more quality depth at DE for the future. We have Cam Heyward waiting, but again, after him there is a steep drop-off.

    As of right now, we have good starters at every single position, save kicker, a position where NO one is going to trade a top-tier guy because teams only HAVE one. But outside that, we don’t have a particularly weak position. Lineups of Roethlisberger, D. Johnson, Redman, A. Brown, Sanders, Miller, Adams/Starks/Essex, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert on offense; and Hampton/McLendon/Ta’amu, Kiesel, Hood, Harrison, Foote/Sylvester/Spence, Timmons, Woodley, Taylor, Lewis/Allen/C. Brown, Polamalu and Clark on defense are about as good as this city has ever put on a field. What we need is depth, and not from idiots like Cromartie. The guy once had to get a $500,000 advance from the Jets to make good on child-support back-payments for his 10 kids with six women. That’s NOT a Steeler.

  4. Cotchery is solid but not a game changer
    Sanders has been unfortunately injury-prone
    Brown had a breakout season, still needs to improve to be a pure number 1 though
    Clemons/Maize/ect. all unproven talent

    without Wallace, our WR corps really isnt that deep as some might want to believe. Wallace demands the double-coverage which allows Brown and the others to run freely. I expect the Steelers to bend a little and offer somewhere around 5 years 60 mil.

  5. Great comments, guys. You really laid out the pros and cons. Good analysis all the way around.

    What Wallace will do is anybody’s guess. If he were smart, he wouldn’t have painted himself into a corner like this. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine any team giving us equivalent value at a position we need in order to trade for him. I still haven’t forgotten the way Wallace seemed to sleep walk through the last 5 or 6 games last year, and opposing GMs saw that too. I’ve never heard an explanation for it. That and Wallace’s decision to hold out ought to make any team, including the Steelers, leery of paying mega-bucks for his services. I’m sticking by my conjecture that Wallace will re-sign with us near the end of pre-season.

    Having said that, if Wallace does not re-sign OR if a trade occurs, I don’t think the Steelers will be as diminished as everyone thinks. First, if there isn’t a suitable replacement on the roster, Colbert will pick up a veteran WR to replace him to cover the depth issue George H. described. Second, Todd Haley is going to resurrect the running game; we now have two experienced TEs in Miller and Pope, plus Wesley Saunders when he gets back; and some very interesting speed options on 3rd down in Rainey and Baron. We can adapt and win with that mix IF the O-line does its job. To my mind, the O-line remains the key to our offensive success this season.

    Finally, as I recall, none of the recent Super Bowl winners had a WR with Wallace’s speed. And the Steelers got to SB 40 and 43 without Wallace or any other receiver that fast. (Washington and Holmes were fast, but not that fast.) So, it would be nice to have Wallace back this year, but I don’t think it’s critical to the team’s success in 2012.

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