Monday’s deadline for signing players with a franchise tag to a long-term contract doesn’t apply to players with restricted free agent tenders, so there’s nothing stopping the Steelers from signing wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Nothing except their inability to agree to terms with Wallace, that is. We heard earlier this month that there’s been little progress or negotiation toward a new deal, but the Steelers don’t seem to have given up hope. John Clayton of ESPN reports that people inside the organization have told him that they remain optimistic about getting a deal done in the next couple of weeks.
“So even though nothing is close at the moment, there is still time before the start of camp and people in the Steelers organization are confident they can get something done, that there will be no holdout, and Wallace will be signed to a long-term deal,” Clayton said.
If a deal does get done now, it will be on the Steelers’ terms. Wallace can hold out or he can sign the tender, but there’s no risk of losing him and, therefore, no reason for the Steelers to budge much from their preferred deal.
Avoiding a holdout would be good in terms of Wallace learning the offense being installed by new coordinator Todd Haley, but there’s not actually any deadline looming. The two sides can work out a deal through Week 10 without Wallace signing his $2.77 million tender or at any point in the year if he does sign the tender.