That’s the word from team president Art Rooney II, anyway. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the team still prefers to get a longer deal done now instead of having Wallace become an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season.
“The sooner the better as far as we’re concerned but there’s two parties to it,” Rooney said. “We’ll have to see what we agree on so I don’t want to put any particular time frame on it or restrictions on it because these things take time and I wouldn’t want to box myself in on it.”
The two parties part of things that Rooney refers to is likely going to continue to be a problem with getting the deal done. Even if Wallace isn’t shooting for Larry Fitzgerald money, he may be looking for more money than the Steelers feel comfortable with laying out. They have Antonio Brown coming up on restricted free agency next season and keeping both players will take some delicate maneuvering if Wallace gets a huge deal right now.
Rooney didn’t share anything about the state of the negotiations, outside of the fact that they are ongoing, but chances are Wallace will exhaust any and all possibilities of a monster payday before talking only with the Steelers. The Steelers can match any offer made to Wallace and Wallace can also sign his $2.74 million tender for 2012 before becoming an unrestricted free agent next season.