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Wallace wants to be paid like Vincent Jackson, not Fitzgerald

Mike Wallace Pic Getty Images

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee published a story in late March stating that Steelers unsigned restricted free agent receiver Mike Wallace was targeting Larry Fitzgerald money in long-term contract talks. The widely held immediate reaction was that Wallace had overvalued himself. Fitzgerald signed an eight-year, $120 million contract last August. His deal included $50 million guaranteed.

On Friday night, however, Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote that Wallace’s asking price is more in line with the five-year, $55.555 million contract signed by Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson during the spring. Jackson’s deal contains $26 million guaranteed.

And that’s a big difference.

Fitzgerald’s average annual value is $15 million, whereas Jackson’s is a more affordable $11.1 million. And Jackson got a lot less of his value guaranteed.

So while common perception has continued to be that Wallace wants to be paid like Fitz, his monetary demands may not be quite so exorbitant. Wallace is entering his age-26 season and commands heavy defensive attention even when he isn’t catching passes, opening up the field for others. Jackson and Fitzgerald do the same, but they are both 29.

The Steelers are expected to listen to trade offers for Wallace, and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has “guessed” that he might only cost a fourth-round pick. If the monetary price has come down, too, then perhaps a team looking for a playmaker will be willing to pay those costs, and the receiver nicknamed “60 Minutes” will be playing ball in a different locale in 2012.

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54 Responses to “Wallace wants to be paid like Vincent Jackson, not Fitzgerald”
  1. dcbrave says: Jul 28, 2012 6:59 PM

    For just a 4th rounder? Gas up the jet Danny Boy! HTTR

  2. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jul 28, 2012 7:02 PM

    Wallace is CLEARLY backing off his initial demands. He wants decent cake, and now gets that his leverage is a bit less potent that he initially believed.

    Translation for my Pittsburgh Steelers: work to land Wallace long term for a bit less than Vincent Jackson money.

    VJ is NOT as valuable as “60 minutes” in a number of ways. We CAN live without Wallace, but I do NOT want to see us limping off stage with a 4th rounder as predicted by Bouchette. That player is worth a LOT more than a 4th.

    Also, we can have Wallace for $2.7M this year – with a fire lit under his tail to earn his next big payday. All the while, we can continue to negotiate.

    I repeat: if we come out with a 4th, I’ll be heated.

  3. eaglesfan290 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:03 PM

    He was offered 5 years 50 Mil and turned i down flat ………..if he really wanted 5 years 55 they would have gotten te deal done!

    This is nothing but a PR story so any team interested in trading for him isn’t scared away!

  4. steelersfan88007 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:03 PM

    It’s not to late to get that kind of deal. Just get your dumb ass to camp!

  5. hedleykow says: Jul 28, 2012 7:03 PM

    And I want to be paid like John Holmes.

    Oh, wait, he’s dead.

  6. saklr1 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:06 PM

    So, what do they know that no one else does? Because it must be something.

  7. mitchem85 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:07 PM

    why would they give him up for a fourth? if they keep him.and let him walk, they can get a comp. 3rd. don’t get me wrong, I’m a Redskins fan and would love to trade for him, but this just doesn’t make much sense.

  8. jacksaysfu says: Jul 28, 2012 7:10 PM

    The market has already been set for players of Wallace’s skill set . Desean Jackson’s contract seems to be Wallace’s kiss of death , but imo Mike Wallace’s contract should be exactly that of D-Jax . His game may be slightly more consistent then #10′s but Desean is also 2 year’s younger

  9. suite34 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:14 PM

    Jim Harbaugh would trade for him, but considering he already has 5 #1receivers…

  10. jacksaysfu says: Jul 28, 2012 7:14 PM

    He’s not worth much more then a 4th considering the contract that he would demand .Obviously Tampa
    overpayed V-Jax & the Steelers shouldn’t cave now .

  11. tedmurph says: Jul 28, 2012 7:14 PM

    He was offered 5 years 50 Mil and turned i down flat ………..if he really wanted 5 years 55 they would have gotten te deal done!

    ==================================

    First of all, no one knows exactly what the offer was. Secondly, the hangup is usually about guaranteed money, not the whole contract, as most contracts don’t go the full length under the original terms(see AHaynesworth). Just bragging rights for agents. Brown got what 8.5 guaranteed and a 3.5 roster bonus. Brown was under contract, extensions result in a discount for the home team. The market price for Wallace was different. Even PGarcon got 20mil guar. With e the steelers cap and upcoming contracts, they prob couldn’t guarantee Wallace that kind of $ even if they wanted to.

  12. tonyugoh says: Jul 28, 2012 7:16 PM

    Trade for him Indy, give Luck a chance to throw to Wallace, Wayne, Collie, Fleener, and Allen and re-unite Wallace with Bruce Arians. Luck to Wallace will be like young Peyton to Marvin all over again.

  13. 49erstim says: Jul 28, 2012 7:21 PM

    Wow. That asking price came down in a hurry! Really good receiver and that money sounds reasonable.

  14. realdealsteel says: Jul 28, 2012 7:25 PM

    Steelers, Packers, Patriots…

    Organizations like these don’t let players dictate to them. Wallace is a dumb ass for thinking that he was going to dictate anything. He obviously doesn’t know his Steeler history the way he should.

    Right now it’s 60/40 that he never plays for us again. I wish the St. Louis Rams would come a calling. I heard that they need another wide receiver.

  15. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:30 PM

    Please tell me one game in which Mike Wallace was a “difference-maker.” I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of just one time Wallace hauled in a game-winning TD catch. Please, someone, anyone, help me out here ….
    Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes played a bigger and more important role in his brief Steelers career than has Wallace.
    Since the Steelers saw fit to get rid of Holmes, they might not think twice about unloading Wallace.

  16. jlsch14 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:36 PM

    Ed bouchette is an idiot. Why would they accept a 4th round pick in a trade when they can use him for a year, let him walk if that’s what they decide to do, and then receive a 3rd round compensatory pick in that case?

  17. nomoreseasontix says: Jul 28, 2012 7:36 PM

    Pretty predictable.
    What receiver or running back DOESN’T grossly over estimate his value lately?
    No team will give him anything close to Fitzgerald money, and maybe not Jackson’s either.
    The steelers are smart standing fast…

  18. codysteeler says: Jul 28, 2012 7:42 PM

    Wallace draws double teams which opens up MVP (because of wallace) Antonio Brown! Wallace will be a Steeler, he will come to camp and sign after he keeps knocking down his price and realizes its a deal to sign. Superstars dont walk away from the steelers…the last superstar to walk away from this organization was joey porter, yeah he was nothing without that black and gold uniform! Nothing! Wallace will be a Steeler, bet your bottom dollar.

  19. KIR says: Jul 28, 2012 7:45 PM

    Who is going to be double covered and be the Steelers deep threat?

    40 yard time

    Mike Wallace 4.28
    Antonio Brown 4.57

  20. kevborum says: Jul 28, 2012 7:45 PM

    Wallace is no Fitz. So comparing contracts is a useless topic.

  21. k0mbucha says: Jul 28, 2012 7:45 PM

    My only question is, if Wallace was looking for VJ’s contract why is that it’s now coming out after Brown signed his new contract.

    Me thinks Wallace and his agent just played themselves.

  22. sneakerhead11 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:47 PM

    Elway needs to pass along Denver’s 4th round pick and get another weapon for Manning.

  23. tedmurph says: Jul 28, 2012 7:49 PM

    Santonio Holmes has 1 thousand yrd season in 6 yrs(although having Sanchez and Schotty hasn’t helped him). When he was traded he was looking at a suspension the following yr and the steelers were trying to send a msg about discipline and charachter(see Big Ben). Both Wallace’s seasons after his rookie yr are around 1200 yrds. He gets #1 receiver attention from the defense and opens things up in the passing game, like Moss used to for the Pats. He’s 25. This one trick pony stuff that recently came out(surprise) is BS. Love steeler fans that suddenly decides he $uks, who needs him. His route running was much better this yr, according to Belichick.

    It’s not necessarily true you’d get a 3rd as compensation. It’s a complicated formula involving FA signed v lost, as well as production and playing time . Could very well end up lower.

  24. KIR says: Jul 28, 2012 7:54 PM

    Why would Wallace play for 2.7 mil this year and risk an injury? He already honored his 3 year contract and earned less than 2 mil while being a top 10 maybe top 5 receiver. He’s going to sit. Someone will comeahcalling. He’s going to get 5 years 55 mil 25 guaranteed.

  25. doubledown73 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:57 PM

    baltimore ravens #1

  26. vikinganswer says: Jul 28, 2012 7:58 PM

    Dream on. Pittsburgh is smart with their money. You get it when their ready.

  27. jwayne111 says: Jul 28, 2012 8:08 PM

    You get “nobodys” money if you do not humbly get to camp!

  28. eaglesfan290 says: Jul 28, 2012 8:16 PM

    I don’t know why people are saying the Steelers will get a 3rd round compensatory pick for Wallace. There is no way to tell what you will get till you know how many players leave in free agency and how many join the team next year. Then you have to take into account what happens on other teams……the NFL only hands out 32 compensatory picks and usually only a very few in the third round. The formula is also based on playing time, salary, pro bowl appearances and what round the player was originally drafted. Wallace was drafted in the third round; he has gone to one Pro Bowl and has only seen significant snaps in the last 2 years.

    I think to use Desean Jackson contract as a baseline is probably a mistake, Desean for all his faults fundamentally changes the way a defense has to defend the field. He is probably in the top 5 fastest players playing today. Beyond that he has gone to the Pro Bowl not only as a WR, but also as a returner. The guy can be when he isn’t being a Diva a true game changer and a multiple positions. Wallace doesn’t have that versatility, and you have to take that into consideration.

    The true level of compensation for Wallace is probably around a 4th round pick. I say that because if he leaves next year that is probably the maximum compensatory pick you would probably get. The real question is what is he worth this year? Is it worth keeping his production for 2.7 Million and possibly allowing the distraction to poison the entire locker room? We went through this last year and we went through this with T.O. I think in both cases we would have been better off trading the player.

    I know the Steelers believe in building from within, in this case maybe it is worth getting rid of a bad apple before he spoils the bunch. I think maybe a compromise say a conditional pick based on playing time and production with another team. In a case like that both teams win and you might get a 2nd round pick.

  29. JakeDSnake says: Jul 28, 2012 8:43 PM

    As mentioned, the compensation formula takes into account the player’s performance for his former team: if Wallace holds out until there are six games left and puts up six 100 yard games, he still only was a 600 yrd receiver that the Steelers lost – that won’t get you a third round compensation pick (in 2014 by the way) regardless of what he does for a new team.
    So would the Steelers take a fourth rounder in 2013 (and avoid the distraction of the late reporting in the middle of the season) or a sixth rounder in 2014?

  30. kevborum says: Jul 28, 2012 8:45 PM

    Yea, I was refering to the story from March. If he doesn’t get to camp he’s not even going to get anything from Pitts.

  31. jjbadd385 says: Jul 28, 2012 8:52 PM

    It was reported earlier in the offseason that my Broncos were somewhat interested in Wallace. Well it ain’t gonna get any cheaper Elway, let’s do this! He is needed…

  32. mwindle1973 says: Jul 28, 2012 8:59 PM

    @eaglesfan: Your assessment is pretty much spot on. But I think there are few more things that are pretty safe to assume. One is they will not trade him to a team in the AFC North. And they would probably like to ship him out of the conference. The other is, even though they could, they probably won’t trade him unless a team will do a new contract with him. But you are right on the 4th round compensation. If not traded, he’s available next season. The big question is does any team value him at 55M/25 guaranteed for 5 years? I think that’s still a little over his value. I understand what a threat he is. But I also understand that he is not a #1 WR, because he is not versatile enough. Not even sure he’s could do what’s required of a #2 WR. But he is big weapon. So I’m betting teams (including the Steelers) see him in the range of 5 years 40-45M/15M guaranteed. And the fact the Steelers would rather just rid themselves of him now than continue dealing with him is probably a pretty big negative in a lot of teams eyes. Mix it with the whole situation, and I think he’s managed to devalue himself over the off season.

  33. franklamar17 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:08 PM

    They are not going to trade Wallace ,they would be crazy too.if they keep him and he leaves next year they get a third round pick.with Wallace we are in super bowl,without we just make the playoffs.he deserves at least 9.5 mil average with 20 guarantee .I love the steelers but if I’m Wallace they can kiss my A;::- if they think I’m taking less.see you week 10

  34. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:29 PM

    Mike Wallace is a talented deep threat. I get it. But there’s certainly no need for the Steelers to keep him since they don’t have a quarterback capable of throwing an accurate deep pass.
    I realize Wallace has amassed alot of yards, which is proof that the blind squirrel finds the accorn once in a while. Seven out of 10 times, Wallace is forced to slow down, look and wait for underthrown passes.
    With a different QB, Wallace will be the next Randy Moss. But in Pittsburgh, he’s nothing more than a deep-threat decoy, which makes him expendable.

  35. blindmansaidwhat says: Jul 28, 2012 9:52 PM

    Whoa, this story is chalk full of speculation!?! Alan Robinson didn’t “report” that Wallace wants Vincent Jackson money specifically, he just used it as a reference point. The truth is nobody knows what number Wallace REALLY wants, but it’s definitely more than 5 yr/$50Mil because that last Steeler offer was confirmed by both Pittsburgh papers and Wallace refused. So think about it, if he really was willing to accept $55Mil and Steelers offered $50 the deal would have gotten done.

    Not sure who’s advising Wallace but he took a can’t win situation and made it a lot worse. Not only did the holdout possibly cost him his place in Pittsburgh but he’s devalued himself to the rest of the NFL.

    Don’t think for a second that every other team in the NFL didn’t notice that Wallace doesn’t run good routes or fights for the ball…both resulted in the pick 6 in the Packers Steelers Super Bowl. He also virtually disappeared the second half of the season and dropped a long pass against the Broncos in the playoffs, being outshined by Antonio Brown, Emanuel Sanders and Jericho Cotchery. Now throw in him trying to hold one of the most respected front offices hostage with a holdout…does this sound like the resume of a WR that will command a huge contract from ANY NFL team?

    The Steelers did not reduce the tender offer in good faith and told Wallace to report to camp so that they could negotiate…what does Wallace do…cuts off all communication with Tomlin and the team in the weeks up to training camp, giving no indication if he was going to be at camp or not and instead went into holdout mode. Not a good idea when you hold zero leverage negotiating-wise.

    Interstingly, it appears this is a lot more than just about the money. Wallace watched Antonio Brown steal his thunder, become a fan favorite and earn MVP honors. It would be easier for Wallace to move on and hook up with another team where he can be “the man.”

  36. kacapaco says: Jul 28, 2012 10:12 PM

    Steelers won’t trade #1 WR, for less than 3 million, who plays for contract. If they trade him, it is for 2nd round or better

  37. kravenm3 says: Jul 28, 2012 10:22 PM

    bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:30 PM

    Please tell me one game in which Mike Wallace was a “difference-maker.” I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of just one time Wallace hauled in a game-winning TD catch. Please, someone, anyone, help me out here ….
    Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes played a bigger and more important role in his brief Steelers career than has Wallace.
    Since the Steelers saw fit to get rid of Holmes, they might not think twice about unloading Wallace.
    —————————————————————
    Mike Wallace’s last game winner was week 15 of the 2009 season against the Packers. You asked for one game…there you go.

  38. riverace19 says: Jul 28, 2012 10:29 PM

    Wallace has not played like Larry Fitzgerald for a single day in his career. Tomlin is getting pissed… Wallace should read the writing on the wall and get his butt in camp… Reducing demands is a good start.

  39. Stiller43 says: Jul 28, 2012 10:35 PM

    He should have done his homework before he made his demands. Fitz only got that money because he had complete leverage that guaranteed him so much money the cards basically had to give him that. (and he’s an ELITE wr). Vjax made that money by being a FREE AGENT (having leverage by using teams to bid) and going to a bad team with lots of cap space.

    If he was smart, he would realize the steelers do give their players large contracts (theyre always up against the cap) but dont break the bank or cripple their team by offering big “free agent” splash type contracts to their players. The benefit of staying is being part of a team with a chance to win a lombardi any given year. Chase all the money you want. I hope it makes you happy. We’ll continue with (slightly) cheaper options who want team success and championships…and theyll get paid nicely as well.

  40. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 10:40 PM

    kravenna: That Packers game actually crossed my mind after I posted my comment.
    I suppose the reason Wallace’s ame-winning TD catch slipped my mind was because it came in a totally meaningless game.
    The defending Super Bowl champion Steelers had their playoff hopes dashed the week before, when the offense produced just two field goals in a 13-6 loss at 1-11 Cleveland.
    But you are absolutely right.

  41. jason49er says: Jul 28, 2012 10:52 PM

    If the Steelers can get a 3rd or 4th round compensatory pick for letting him go, why would they take a 4th in a trade?

    The simple answer is they shave $2.7M off the books and they get rid of a big distraction looming over the franchise like a dark cloud.

    They also get to choose where he goes I.E. outside the AFC conference.

  42. blindmansaidwhat says: Jul 28, 2012 10:59 PM

    As I said trade talk was a lotta speculation…ESPN Ed Werner just reported Colbert says Mike Wallace isn’t available for trade…also, Steelers hold the right to franchise tag him in 2013 too so if Mike Wallace is going to play football in the NFL between now and 2014 he WILL be doing so in Pittsburgh…

  43. realdealsteel says: Jul 28, 2012 11:03 PM

    There are at least 5 ballclubs in need of Wallaces services (Rams, Panthers, Browns, Vikings and Titans). Most likely, these teams are going to take a WR in next years draft with a first or second round pick.

    Steelers should easily be able to get at least a second round pick from one of them.

  44. borophyll says: Jul 28, 2012 11:07 PM

    FYI, literally NO ONE calls him 60 minutes except you, Silva.

  45. rodgers419 says: Jul 28, 2012 11:13 PM

    Wallace says this. Wallace says that.

    How about you let Wallace speak for himself. The guy has not said one word against the franchise, ownership, or fans. He has been nothing but a professional and yet some of you talk about him like he poisoned your child.

  46. hsteacher says: Jul 28, 2012 11:15 PM

    Does Pitt need a cornerback?…..To bad Jenkins wouldn’t pass a physical.

  47. steelcurtainn says: Jul 28, 2012 11:39 PM

    Although I want to see Mike W. back. Every wr is expendable with Big Ben at qb. He makes every receiver better. Buckle down and take the Steelers offer Mike if u wanna stay with a winner because you won’t win this battle.

  48. mitchem85 says: Jul 28, 2012 11:39 PM

    the steelers rarely pick up anyone in free agency. they rely on the draft and its a pretty safe bet if Wallace plays this year out,and amasses 1k+ yards and some tds, and he walks, the steelers will get a 3rd or at worst 4th rd comp pick. They get one more year out of Wallace and then a comp pick. that sounds better to me than trading him for virtually the same.value you will get if he walks. I don’t see them trading him for anything less than a 2nd. maybe a 3rd and a late round future pick. this reminds me of the boldin/fitz scenario in az.
    when fitz got the contract and boldin ended up getting one elsewhere. its all speculation at this point, regardless what anyone says.

  49. danfoutsbeard619 says: Jul 28, 2012 11:45 PM

    As a chargers fan, Vincent Jackson wasnt worth the money he got. Career highs of 65rec 1191 yds and 9 tds is not elite, great numbers but not elite

  50. burlbradley says: Jul 29, 2012 12:24 AM

    I don’t even want Josh Cribbs money ($1.438M/year)
    All I’m asking is Carlton Mitchell money ($490K/year)

  51. cgsuddeath says: Jul 29, 2012 12:37 AM

    And my newborn son says.Waaaaa!!!!!

  52. suhisabeast90 says: Jul 29, 2012 12:55 AM

    Joey Porter did not walk away….he was cut.

  53. sixburghrules says: Jul 29, 2012 1:25 AM

    JakeDSnake says: Jul 28, 2012 8:43 PM

    As mentioned, the compensation formula takes into account the player’s performance for his former team: if Wallace holds out until there are six games left and puts up six 100 yard games, he still only was a 600 yrd receiver that the Steelers lost – that won’t get you a third round compensation pick (in 2014 by the way) regardless of what he does for a new team.
    So would the Steelers take a fourth rounder in 2013 (and avoid the distraction of the late reporting in the middle of the season) or a sixth rounder in 2014?
    ———————————————————–
    If he does this he will show what a prima donna he is! He needs to have a breakout season to show what he is worth otherwise that 2.7M will be looking pretty damn good in hind-sight

  54. gpclaw says: Aug 6, 2012 8:03 AM

    If the Steelers were to receive a compensatory pick for Wallace, it would be for the 2014 draft. Also, the team wouldn’t be allowed to trade the pick. At least by trading Wallace for a draft pick, the team would be able to use the pick in the 2013 draft, and would have the flexibility to trade that pick, to move up in a higher round of the draft.

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