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Commentary: Wallace Ready To Bolt Pittsburgh for Greener Pastures

Free agency hasn’t even started yet, but the Steelers are already behind the 8-ball according to just about every expert on TV and radio.

Every time you hear those insiders talk about free agency, the one team that they all say is in a heap of trouble is that of the Steelers.

They have already gone over like a fine tooth comb a bunch of contracts to try and save money, but there’s still a looming issue that this team is going to be very much over the cap when free agency starts.

While the team has most of their big name players under contract, there’s one player that is already planning his exit strategy – that of WR Mike Wallace.

If you’ve watched ESPN or NFL Network over the past 7-10 days, they have already written off that Wallace is as good as gone, and the Pro Bowl WR himself seems to already packing his bags as well.

Wallace was asked on NFL Radio if he’d be interested in playing for the 49ers or Patriots, two teams that will for sure be in the bidding for the soon to be restricted free agent.

“Most definitely. Those are two playoff-caliber teams. Super Bowl-caliber teams,” said Wallace. “I think that the right person or the right piece for those guys could put them over the top. All they need is one more piece … most definitely, those are Super Bowl-contending teams.”

Wallace said later in the interview – “I definitely want to get my money,” and there’s no doubt that the Steelers don’t have the salary-cap room to use a $9 million franchise tag on him.

So get ready Steelers fans, this isn’t going to be easy. First there’s the drama that appears to be surrounding when the team will have to lay on fans the release of Hines Ward (I still think this is coming), and now it seems like a given that Wallace is headed for the exits as well.

On the bright side, Wallace is going to garner a first-round pick, and the hope is if he’s gone, a team OUTSIDE the Division and even the conference puts in an offer, and hopefully a team with a high pick.

Best case – The Rams take a shot on him, giving the Steelers the #2 pick (won’t happen, but one can hope).

More likely – #29 Baltimore or #31 New England land Wallace, giving the Steelers two first round picks, but also putting him in the hornets nest of the Steelers two biggest rivals to win the conference.

Somewhere in the Middle – #30 San Fran takes Wallace, which would give the Steelers the 24th and 30th picks, and at least Wallace would be out of sight, out of mind in San Fran.

So what will the Black and Gold look like without Wallace? Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are your starting WR’s, while Jerricho Cotchery comes back as the number three, and there’s a number of other wide outs to fill the void.

Finally, there is some hope I guess, and that’s the Steelers pull a magic act and find a way to pay Wallace, keeping him with a deal with Pittsburgh.

He did leave a glimmer of hope in the interview on NFL Radio – “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere and leave the situation where I am at with a great quarterback, a great organization or go somewhere where I don’t feel like I could succeed.”

Well, then how about getting this settled and inking a deal? Won’t happen. Book it.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Charles Spooner

    February 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

    well yancey thigpen is at it again. its funny for a guy to talk about a superbowl team. but yet failed to help his team win the game. wallace is a zero. wont miss his. the steelers have been adding god young wide outs the last few years. so him leaving as soon as he can wont hurt as much

  2. George H

    February 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The interview makes Wallace sound more money hungry than loyal to the team that put him in the position to succeed. He says he wants to win and play for a Superbowl caliber team with a great qb… well lets see here; Brady fits the bill, Alex Smith is not very good minus one game vs the Saints, Flacco hasnt been able to get it done and is a major division rival who Wallace should hate anyway.

    Teams I could potentially see in the bidding for Wallace would be:

    Chicago- desperate need of an elite receiver for years now and when Cutler is healthy he ins’t too bad. Plus I believe they have a low 20s pick so I wouldnt mind that very much.

    Washington- A team with tons of salary cap space, loves to make a big splash, and desperate for some playmakers on offense. Its not a good sign when Jabar Gafney and the 37 year old Sanatana Moss are your teams best receivers. Plus I believe Manning will need someone to throw the ball to if the Skins miss out on trading up for RG3. However, the have pick 6, so they might not be willing to part with it for Wallace, although I would have to believe Wallace, a proven probowl talent, has to be better than Justin Blackmon at this point, if the Skins were to target a receiver.

    Rams would be nice but no way they let go of their number 2 pick, although their need for a true number one is staggering especially since Lloyd is going to leave.
    ** one side note, the Patriots love their draft picks and might think it would be easier to sign Brandon Lloyd anyway. Its reported that Lloyd wants to follow wherever McDaniels goes and thats up in NE.

    San Diego- if the Chargers can’t retain Vincent Jackson then they will be in need of another top guy to go along with Floyd. They have a mid-teens pick and could be of great value for Pittsburgh.

    Kansas City, a team with lots of young talent and money but might be losing Bowe. Why not replace him with another receiver with a nack for finding the endzone?

  3. adam

    February 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hate to lost Wallace as he has #1 speed and long ball playmaking ability. Noticed though that last half of season he was sort of second fiddle to Antonio Brown. I have to believe that Brown is over all better receiver. Lets not forget Sanders was injured much of year and had family issues. He was great leading into suber bowl two years ago and it hurt us when he got injured in that game.

  4. Pingback: Commentary: Wallace Ready To Bolt Pittsburgh for Greener Pastures | Pittsburgh Steelers | News, Forum, Photos, Highlights, Scores, Schedule, Blogs, Mock Drafts

  5. James

    February 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Sounds like another Washington, Plaxico or Holmes. Where did it get them? Bye speedy.

  6. Steve Geddes

    February 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    There no pastures greener then Steelers have a nice day Mike!

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