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 Post subject: No Tag for Wallace
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:47 pm 
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- I understand where Colbert is coming from, esp with the emergence of Brown, but man this just got a LOT more interesting. If I'm the Pats I seriously (2 first rounders, 31 and 27) might pull this trigger (assuming they don't settle for a Lloyd). I would float SF out there, but Smith cannot throw deep any better than Ryan so really its pointless for them. Maybe Houston ought to give a look see as well.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to tender, not franchise, restricted free agent Mike Wallace, according to a source close to the wide receiver.

This means another team could try to sign Wallace to an offer sheet that the Steelers would have the right to match -- or get a first-round pick in return.

The highest qualifying offer for Wallace is about $2.75 million, nearly matching the amount that Pittsburgh is now under the salary cap. To franchise Wallace would cost Pittsburgh $9.5 million, which it currently does not have the salary-cap space to absorb.

At the scouting combine last week, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert sounded determined to keep Wallace.

"Having a great player like Mike Wallace is not a dilemma," Colbert said. "We're going to do everything we can to make sure that Mike Wallace remains a Pittsburgh Steeler and I think that's Mike's belief as well. Usually when you have two parties that share the same goal, it's easier to achieve that goal."

Wallace, however, acknowledged last week that he might not be playing for Pittsburgh this season.

"(Pittsburgh is) where I would like to be, but we all know that it is a business and you have certain things you have to handle," Wallace told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "So if I have to go elsewhere, you know Pittsburgh will always be in my heart, but I have to do what I have to do."

Wallace had 1,193 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2011 and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. The 25-year-old has led the Steelers in receiving touchdowns the past two seasons after tying for the team lead in his rookie season.

The Steelers drafted Wallace in the third round (84th overall) in 2009 out of Mississippi.

Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/76332 ... ource-says

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 Post subject: Re: No Tag for Wallace
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:27 pm 
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I think the doom/gloom notion of this is vastly overstated by Adam Schefter and others.

The facts are this, the Steelers have right of first refusal. They are having a difficult time negotiating with Wallace.

If another teams signs him to an offer sheet, it would mean that they are paying him an amount of money that he is comfortable with. If the Steelers match that offer, then they just had another team do all the hard work of negotiating for them.

But in order to entice Wallace, and make the Steelers second guess offering him a deal, the team that signs him will have to pay him significantly more than market value. We'll say that market value for Wallace is slightly more than what Santonio Holmes signed for last year, which was a $10M/yr. deal with $24M guaranteed. So I don't think a team can swoop in and take him for say $11M/yr. and $27M guaranteed. For instance, Larry Fitzgerald signed a $15M/yr. with $50M guaranteed. NOw I'm not saying Wallace will get that sort of offer, but whatever team tries to sign him is going to have to make it prohibitive for the Steelers to match. And that's not going to be a slight raise over Wallace.

I just think that will be to the point where it actually becomes prohibitive to the team that signs him as well. And it's not to say Mike Wallace isn't a very good WR. But he has a very specific skillset that he does extremely well (stretch the defense), and if you don't have an offense that is designed to maximize that skillset, then you're going to essentially be overpaying for him. He's more like DeSean Jackson than Andre Johnson. And that essentially makes him a complementary receiver. Now that's the best kind of complementary receiver, which is a truly dynamic vertical option. But is a team going to be willing to pay such a high premium for a guy that isn't a "do everything" WR like a Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson type?

Now the good thing for teams that are potentially going to sign Wallace is that the Steelers are in cap trouble. And so if you're smart, you're structure the deal to have a huge cap hit of like $15-20M in Year 1 of the deal. There's simply no way the Steelers are going to be able to clear enough cap space to handle that contract.

But how many teams can afford to sink a #1 pick + plus that much cap space and also have the need/fit at WR to make that work.

Besides KC and J-ville, I don't see any other teams that really coud/should make that move. KC probably only if Bowe signs elsewhere, and J-ville is probably not a good fit because it's a lot to invest in a WR when you don't even know if you have the right QB to throw to him. If NE did it, it would eat all of their cap space. And if NE is smart, they will spend most of their $$$ in free agency trying to upgrade that secondary.

NE can probably try and get Michael Floyd in the 1st round of the draft, since he's a guy that can bring something as an outside threat as well as the fact that he is fairly well-versed in their offense (relative to any other rookie) from his days at Notre Dame under Charlie Weis. They need a complementary outside threat like a Wallace, but they don't need to go out and spend the huge fortune that it will take to get Mike Wallace.

And especially when you have a draft that features some good vertical threats (Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle, etc.), as well as players like V-Jax, DeSean Jackson, Manningham, Robert Meachem, etc. in FA, you don't need to spend big to get a good vertical threat on the outside.

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 Post subject: Re: No Tag for Wallace
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:46 pm 
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You're probably right, I didn't add all those details. To me if I'm NE or CIN I may just try and see if I couldn't get the number just high enough to screw Pitt. Could a really smart numbers guy/gm not dig really really hard into Pitts cap situation and get close to a deal that might price them out at the end of the day, given that they are in iffy cap shape? I think his skill set is more than deep, but Pitt doesn't use him much like that with the other receivers they have to compliment. Hes not D.Jackson to me. But to you're point, you do have to be careful w/ what he's mainly shown (deep speed) and tying that much up in one position.

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 Post subject: Re: No Tag for Wallace
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:59 pm 
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I just saw on twitter that the Steelers are about $5M under the cap with all of the moves they've made over the past month. Thus the reason why they can't tag Wallace, since they don't have roughly $9-10M in cap space they would need to do so. But with the right of first refusal, the Steelers will get 7 days to match any offer signed by Wallace with another team. So let's assume they have another $5-10M that they we can call "emergency" money that they can free up if need be in that time to match a deal.

That's why I'm saying that any team that wants to sign Wallace is going to have give him a huge chunk of money right off the bat, such as $15M+ in order to make the Steelers unable to match the deal.

And the only way any team can really make that work is if they already have probably $25M+ already in cap space. And there are only a handful of teams like that, and very few of them have a really strong need at WR, at least to the point where they should be going after a player like Wallace.

From what I've heard the Patriots only have about $20M in cap space, which doesn't make them a good fit. And the Patriots don't need that caliber of WR. They need a good outside threat, but between Welker, Gronk, Hernandez, they just need a good complementary receiver, and shouldn't need to pay a high premium for it. They just need a guy that can be a 50-60 catch receiver that can stretch the field on the outside that can make teams pay for trying to clutter the middle. Wallace is that type of player, but paying $50M+ and eating up all of your cap space when you have a bunch of needs on the defensive side of the ball just isn't good business.

The Bengals don't really need that player, because they already have a dynamic vertical WR in A.J. Green. And if they had a big-armed QB like Cam Newton, then having a guy like Green + Wallace would be a really scary offense. But Andy Dalton is not a good vertical passer. Almost all of his success this year IMHO came because Green has elite ball skills (i.e. can go and get the ball). Instead what they need is essentially a possession receiver in the mold of Roddy White that can shine on the 7-15 yard routes. That is not Mike Wallace. They would be much smarter spending the money that they would pay for Wallace on a player like Dwayne Bowe who is more that mold of player.

One team that I think would be smart to do it would be a team like Carolina. But I don't think they have the cap space. They were over the cap last I heard.

This is a deep FA crop of WRs, so teams don't need to spend big unless they have to. And it's also a pretty deep draft class at the position too. Thus why I don't think any Steeler fans should be losing sleep over this situation.

Obviously, anything could happen, and there's always at least one team trying to make an unnecessary splash in free agency, and Wallace would be exactly that. But I think the better run teams out there, won't be among them. i think eventually Wallace and the Steelers will agree to terms on a lucrative, but cap-friendly deal.

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