Report: Mike Wallace told 49ers he wants more than Larry Fitzgerald


Mike Wallace is the best free agent available right now, but it appears that he’s going to need to lower his asking price significantly if he wants to do anything other than play for the Steelers on the one-year restricted free agent tender this season.

That’s the word out of San Francisco, where the 49ers had interest in signing Wallace until they found out how much money he wanted. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Wallace wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed with the Cardinals.

If that’s what Wallace is going to demand of every team that shows interest, it’s hard to see any team signing him to an offer sheet, which would also require the team to give the Steelers a first-round draft pick if the Steelers choose not to match. (And the Steelers surely would choose not to match an offer sheet that gave Wallace more money than Fitzgerald.)

Wallace may end up deciding that unless some team offers him a monster contract, he’s better off staying in Pittsburgh on the one-year, $2.74 million restricted free agent tender and then becoming an unrestricted free agent next year.

As great a deep threat as Wallace is, he’s not as productive a receiver as Fitzgerald: Wallace’s career high in catches was 72 last year; Fitzgerald has had seasons of 80, 90, 96, 97, 100 and 103 catches. Wallace’s career high in yards was 1,257 two years ago; Fitzgerald has had four seasons of more than 1,400 yards. It’s not realistic to think Wallace will get more money than Fitzgerald. At least, not unless he has a great 2012 and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2013.

134 responses to “Report: Mike Wallace told 49ers he wants more than Larry Fitzgerald

  1. When he breaks ANY of Jerry Rice records like Fitz has MAYBE someone will talk to him about a monster contract.

  2. Thats about delusional. Wallace is one dimension-great speed and can get past anybody. Fitz can run routs,go deep and outjump most defenders near the goaline

  3. I want to be a airline pilot, but I wouldn’t get in a plane with me at the helm.

  4. 49ers won’t do it. They have their money invested in the defense + the signing of Alex Smith and Manningham will likely just leave Baalke just laughing in Wallace’s face. Also, Mike Wallace is not on the same level as Larry.

  5. If that’s what Wallace thinks he deserves, he’s going to be majorly disappointed next year when he’s a UFA. He’ll get a decent amount of cash from someone, but he won’t come close to $120 million.

  6. Seems Wallace has developed the same mentality as that of the hordes of dirtballs who cheer for his team: vastly overrating his value relative to the rest of the NFL (see Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis).

  7. Wallace’s twitter says, “i love when haters hate”. So this article has a lot of validity. If he wants the CJ, Fitz type money he is going to have to put up their numbers. More importantly, when you play in a town that expects super bowls, you better put up those numbers in the playoffs.

    Currently his playoff numbers are:
    4 games
    16 catches
    141 yds
    8.8 yds per catch
    1 td

    9 for 89 and a TD in the SB vs GB

  8. Wallace, please come back down to earth. You have excellence speed, that’s it. Your hands are decent and your route running is inferior to antonio brown.

    Larry Fitzgerald does all of that at a top tier level. That is why he gets paid top tier money.

    Get real.

  9. Wallace, I mean this in the most offensive way possible. You are a dope for thinking you can get this kind of money. Larry Fitzgerald is 10x the receiver you will ever be. Receivers who can only run three routes aren’t worth that kind of cash.

    In fact, your teammate, Antonio Brown, is better than you,

  10. Shoot for the moon, cause even if you miss you, you’ll land amongst the stars!

    But seriously, I’d look for something more realistic and try to get something comparable to VJax’s deal.

  11. I seen the headline and felt the need to come in here and laugh.hahhahahhahahahhahhaha alright no need to read the article.

  12. In other news Pittsburgh Wide Receiver Mike Wallace and his agent were part of a marijuana bust early this morning. Both men were found to be experiencing delusions of grandeur.

  13. WRONG!! Antonio brown will be a RESTRICTED free agent next year so the franchise tag will be available to use on Wallace.

    Pay attention please…

  14. What is wrong with these greedy players? You are a good player, expect good player money, not great player money. If you were making millions of dollars and had the chance to join a better team and make say 70 million dollars with the chance to make even more by winning a couple of championships while you were there, why wouldn’t you do it? Why would you chance injury or even worse a career ending injury for 50 million more that you know your not worth and that no one in their right mind would pay? Take a 6/$70 Million contract, you can live very well and your kids, kids, kids can too if you play it right…. Oh yeah, that oh so powerful word……GREED.

  15. Wow. At least this means the Steelers get him for one more year. I sure hope this is just his way of saying he doesn’t want to leave Pittsburgh.

  16. Once again I admit I was wrong. I thought the Denver Broncos and their first round pick would get Wallace in the fold and give Manning a deep threat but at that money, no one is going to touch him, and now that this is out I doubt anyone will even be talking to him. That is just nuts. I bet Ochocinco and T.O. are even laughing about this self over value.

  17. And in a disappointing development for Alex Smith, Wallace then went on to say he’d sign for the league minimum in GB, NE or DEN.

  18. Mike Wallace has been in the league 3 years, his first year he only got 4 starts, and this year he missed a game. In Larry Fitzgerald’s first 3 years he missed 3 games to injury.

    That being said the stats over their first 3 years:
    Mike Wallace: 3198 yds and 24 TDs
    Larry Fitzgerald: 3135 yds and 24TDs

    However Larry doesn’t get paid what he does because of the first 3 years. Mike Wallace is no Larry yet but very similar start to their careers.

  19. I don’t believe this story because it makes no sense. Why would you demand to hey paid more that the best WR in the game.

    I’m going to have to give Wallace the benefit of the doubt on this one. Unless he wants to go to the Donkies of course. that ignorant franchise gave 100 million dollars to a 36 year old QB who’s one hit away from retirement.They might give him more than Fitz.

  20. Wouldn’t Antonio Brown be a restricted free agent? This is going to be his third season (he was drafted in 2010). Doesn’t he need 4 years of service to reach unrestricted free agency?

  21. Well at least we can safely assume we’ll have Wallace back for one more year. Larry Fitzgerald money? No one is going to give him that kind of money, this year or next.

    Fitzgerald and Megatron are different receivers than anyone else in football. Wallace doesn’t have the body type to ever be that kind of receiver.

    And by the way PFT, Brown will be a RESTRICTED free agent next year. Can you guys please get someone with some football knowledge to proof your stories?


  22. Even funnier than mike wallace is the raiders fan her critisizing the money denver gave manning considering the questionable draft picks and money theyve wasted over the years…

  23. I posted that I would like for my broncos to sign him but after reading this, HELL NO! Like most said, he’s only great at deep routes and speed, any team including the steelers would be a fool to give him that much. I weather for the broncos to use that money for cheaper talented WRs that manning can make look better. Larry fitzgerald is by far one of the best receivers in this lead now and he proves it time after time, I would take him over megatron, who I also think is overpaid after one proven season, and Wallace.

  24. That’s hilarious.

    That seriously has to be his way of telling them to ____ off.

    He would hate it in San Fran anyway. He would probably end up with 600 yards receiving and 1 TD.

    I seriously think he told them that so he could stay in Pitt.

    There is NO way he really believes he deserves more than Fitz, who is right up there with the most gifted receivers to play the game.

  25. First off, an unnamed source is the source of all this. Second, this may be what Wally wants if he’s going to leave the Stillers for San Fran. Nuance is always possible. Of course, it is possible that Wally or Wally’s agent is a moron too.

  26. tharoostah

    That’s actually a good point. Big difference though is that Ben Roethlisberger (regardless of what people what to say) is actually a pretty prolific passer.

    He generally has a very high YPA and very solid accuracy.

    Fitz has only once had the luxury of a good QB, when he played with Warner. He completely tore up the playoffs with a competent passer at the helm.

    I don’t think Wallace would have numbers like he has had without a good quarterback.

    Fitz would put of great numbers with me back there.

  27. Like I said, if this report is true, it’s his way of saying that he wants to stay in Pitt because Wallace knows he’s not getting Fitzgerald-like money.

    Hines probably talked him into do all that he can to stay.

  28. And I naively wondered why my Patriots did make a run @ him. He is should thank God if he gets 9-10m a year contract.

  29. Okay it all been said but my team is not that stupid and this is not about Alex Fitz is a BEAST! This kid is not even in the same neighborhood.

  30. I like Wallace, I really do. In fact this guy is who I wanted the 9ers to sign @ WR, however, to expect Fitzgerald or above money is ridiculous. Even Steelers fans are laughing so thats a pretty fair barometer right there. I hope this is a little gamesmanship/negotiating on his part. If not then good luck getting that $ in free agency next offseason bro.

  31. Great deep threat but Larry “the receiver that can do anything you ever wanted” Fitzgerald good? HECK NO!!!!!!!! I’m sure the kids agent asked for that hoping the 9ers would be dumb enough to pay it. Of course who knows with the way today’s contracts are structured it could be 8 yrs 135 mil with a 50 mil signing bonus and the first year he gets that 50 plus prolly 4.5 mil against the cap the next year it goes up to 8 then the year after the team will simply have him restructure for a nice signing bonus. While they could do that it’s besides the point the kid is nowhere near Mr. Fitzgeralds neighborhood.

  32. I just hope some team signs him for a 1st. Ive had a feeling Wallace was an idiot and this proves it, steelers wont resign him for the money he wants. Theyre better of getting a 1st round pick and adding some depth to the d or trading up for something solid for years to come

  33. Fitz is one of the more over paid players in the NFL. His numbers are inflated because he plays on a bad team that’s always passing late in the game. He had a nice 3 year run and one great year with Warner throwing him the ball. Now he’s 28 and on the decline. Check out his last 2 years – good but not great stats 6 and 8 TD’s only. Megatron got that in 4 games.

    Not saying Wallace deserves more money but I’d take him over Fitz in this stage of their careers.

  34. Buyer beware! This guy is a total punk just like recent Steeler receivers (Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress). There is a jail cell with his name on it one day. Besides, he’s a one trick pony. Awesome deep threat yes, great all around receiver… not so much.

  35. No way should any team think of paying him that much while he’s still unproven. Shame! As a penance, he should extend his contract with Pittsburgh right now for say, 3 million per year 😀

  36. I say stuff like that after i’ve been up all night drinking too. what’s the big deal?

  37. Huge Steelers fan here, NO WAY is Wallace worth Fitzgerald money! He has shown nothing to warrant that type of pay day.

    Quite frankly, IF this report is true, the Steelers should get one more year out of him and then let him go. (Assuming no team would even entertain giving him that type of money.)

    Sure he’s fast, but so far he has not proven to be that sure handed, further he does not have the size advantage of players such as Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.

  38. This guy is out of his mind. Fitz has put up those numbers with the likes of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, and John Skelton. I can’t imagine the numbers Fitz would be putting up if the Cardinals had Big Ben as their QB.

  39. Who wouldn’t want more than Fitz?

    Leon Washington wanted more money than the Jets would offer, and look how that turned out. Get the guaranteed money when you can.

  40. Pretty sure this is his way of staying in the Burgh for another season and then letting it work itself out after 2013. I think the more interesting question is, whom do you value more if you’re the Steelers, Wallace or Brown? IMHO, Brown. I say this because he is a route runner and more of possession guy but still has that speed to take it all the way. Wallace is pure speed and doesn’t seem to get the looks on critical downs. Either way, neither should ever get Fitzgerald money!!

  41. His production was down at the end of the year because Ben was spreading the ball all over the field. Same thing is going to happen this year. Wallace will get his touches, but so will Sanders, Brown, Heath Miller, etc…..His numbers are going to be decent but after this year no one will pay him what he wants. As a Steeler fan I know Antonio Brown has more of an upside. Wallace doesn’t have the best hands in the world (see his complete drop on a perfectly thrown ball in the playoff game). Steelers get a year out of Wallace then he is gone. Steelers pay AB to stay another 5 years.

  42. fullhouseofcards says:
    Mar 22, 2012 11:04 AM
    This guy is out of his mind. Fitz has put up those numbers with the likes of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, and John Skelton. I can’t imagine the numbers Fitz would be putting up if the Cardinals had Big Ben as their QB.
    I agree with you, but Fitz had his most productive run (so far) with Kurt Warner throwing to him. In no way do I think this makes an argument for Wallace. Fitz is a proven WR, and has earned big money. Wallace is a fantastic athlete but not in Fitz’s league as a receiver yet.

  43. The funniest part of this sotry is yet untold.

    The Steelers will end up extending the contract of Antonio Brown, and then after this year, they will franchise Mike Wallace for the 2013 season.

    Wallace needs to read the tea leaves fast.

    Course, he likely just wants to stay in Pittsburgh, but he might not like how he ends up staying there.

  44. I Dont understand what the 49ers are doing i think a QB is a # one priority right now why get all these weapons when Alex Smith cant even throw

  45. Somewhere Fitzgerald is laughing his ass off and shaking his head. Please, son, you aint got that kind of game. One trick pony wanting to get paid like the best in the league? His agent should be fired for not being real with his client.

  46. Wallace is way undervalued by many here.

    Look back 45 years, the history of the modern NFL, and you won’t find 10 receivers who have a better combination of yds, YPC, and TD’s than Mike Wallace has after 3 years in the NFL.

    Stellar intangibles: Solid citizen, durable (hasn’t missed a game), NFLs’ “best deep threat” opens up O for everyone else.

    I’ve saved the best for last….Mike Wallace is getting better every year. He came from a weak passing O out of Ole Miss, so he still has a lot of upside.

    Is he worth Fitz money? No, but nobody is.

    At ~$120 mil, he’s priced himself out of the RFA market, so he’ll be back to the Burgh for a year or two.

  47. I’d offer him a 3 year 30 million $ contract and tell him the door is over there if your not interested.

  48. I saw this coming.
    The WR diva in him is just starting to bloom.

    Watch the clip of Hines Ward’s 1,000 catch, and look at the pathetic effort Wallace gives to block.

    Fellow Steeler fans enjoy this year at the tender price, then next year on the franchise tag, and then say adios, cause this guy’ll be gone

    [just about the time he’ll lose his really top-end speed, and he becomes just another deep threat]

  49. This seems like a carefully calculated plan by the Steelers and Mike Wallace. The Steelers couldn’t use the franchise tag on Wallace and both parties knew this. I imagine that the Steelers said something like “Mike we don’t have the money this year but we’ll have it next year and we’ll give you a fat contract IF you make your salary demands ridiculous.” Wallace is either going to be an UFA, a franchis player (9.4 million for WR this year), or a Steeler with a #1 WR contract.

  50. And people said we wouldn’t keep Mike Wallace … lol

    Mike, honey, even this diehard Steelers fan doesn’t think you are in a class with Larry Fitgerald.

  51. Wallace guess what you will be in Pittsburgh this year. What is it with all these players that think and have been made to believe they are so important to a sport and demand unfounded money compared to their skill.

  52. bayareasportguru says:
    Mar 22, 2012 11:52 AM
    I’d offer him a 3 year 30 million $ contract and tell him the door is over there if your not interested.


    Do your homework, “guru”.

    Mike is an RFA, the Steelers have made an offer, the 1 yr tender at $2.74 mil.

    When was the last time a Pro Bowl player signed a 3 year contract for their C2? Probably never.

    When Mike signs, it will be for 5-8 years….and for big money.

  53. @originalsteelcurtain – 5-8 yrs for BIG money. That is a ridiculous statement. Wallace may end up signing for 5 yrs and 55 million, sure, but that is half what Fitz got. So BIG money to one person is not big money to another.

    Wallace has not shown that he is worth more than 10 mil a year and really hasn’t shown he is worth that much. If Wallace was so darn awesome, he would have been slapped with Exclusive Franchise tag.

  54. He must be on drugs.Either that or Hines told him he’d teach him how to chop block if he came back to the Stealers.

  55. Why is it that players put together a couple of good years and think they should be paid the same as the top players at their position..?

    Doesn’t make sense.

  56. I’m a steelers fan and this kinda pisses me off. Wallace is a solid receiver but a Fitz he is not. Fitz can catch anything anywhere on the field. Wallace is a one trick pony, albeit a affective one but $120 million for a guy that can run one route?? Absolutely not. Especially with all the WR talent coming out recently. There are big time WRs all over even at small school (ie miles Austin, Marques colston) no mike no!

  57. He’s a Steeler, what do you expect? The players and the fans in that cesspool, are all clueless and believe they a 10x better than what is reality. It’s good to have dreams though, just like winning another Lombardi trophy in the next decade. Stay in the Pitts, Mikey you are a good fit there with the rest of the waterheads.

  58. You’d think he’d take $15M this year, then $6M a year on a 8 year deal.

    That seems about right…..$63M.

    He’d be $19M better off in ’12 and you never know about injuries.

    I wonder if he’ll hold out.

  59. Sorry dude…
    You need to prove you can get open regularly without counting on roethlisberger scrambling for 20 seconds ending up in a
    Broken play where you just end up going deep.

    Good talent, but hasn’t proven he’s worth Larry fitz money yet.

  60. everyone on Fitz’s jock look at his numbers the last 2 years.

    6 tds
    8 tds

    Santana Moss like numbers

  61. Just because you’re the fastest doesn’t mean you get paid the most. Wallace, ur a 1-trick pony that needs to learn the nuances of being an elite wr. And be careful cuz one knee tear means u don’t get paid and no more speed bud. Go to broncos n get better

  62. As a Steelers fan, I REALLY wish someone would take him away this year so we’ll have an extra pick in the first round. There is NO WAY we EVER give that kind of money to a WR. We won’t even be able to sign him next year because we will still be too close to the cap.

    Please, someone grab him this year.

  63. It’s okay, Buddy Nix from Buffalo will give him that contract next off-season.

  64. First, I think that an argument can be made that Wallace is as good or better than Fitzgerald. For example, FootballOutsiders has him as much more valuable than Fitzgerald over the last 3 years. (Of course this isn’t quite fair because Wallace has a better QB throwing to him. )

    The problem isn’t that Wallace isn’t as good as Fitzgerald. The problem is that no team in their right mind would pay any receiver Fitzgerald money, including Fitzgerald.

    But all of this is moot. The bottom line is that Wallace realizes that with another great year, he will indeed command mega-money next year as an UFA. On the other hand, he knows that nobody will give him a good 1-2 year contract if they have to give up a first. So he is probably resigned to playing another year for PIT absent some unexpectedly large offer.

    If things do play out this way, kudos to the PIT management for reading the situation correctly. Expect them to release or franchise Wallace next year, and make a first-round tender for Brown.

  65. First 3 years in the league

    Wallace – 171 receptions for 3209 yards and 24 tds.
    Fitzgerald – 230 receptions for 3135 yards and 24 tds.

    What are you clowns laughing at?

  66. HEs not worth Fitz money but he is by far the best deep threat in the game today. 27 rec over 40 yds the last two seasons. Take Wards advice pal and stay for a nice deal In Pittsburgh and play for one of the best Orgs in professional Sports. Chew on that haters.

  67. jpbucco says: Mar 22, 2012 10:07 AM

    WRONG!! Antonio brown will be a RESTRICTED free agent next year so the franchise tag will be available to use on Wallace.

    Pay attention please…

    um i would use the franchise tag on Brown next year before i use it on wallace..brown is a way better all around receiver than wallace.Brown is one player i would never let go of if i was the Steelers.

  68. Wallace has helped the Steelers in many ways, it will be his decision on whether or not he wants to stay in Pittsburgh.
    But by some of his comments, sounds like he’s only interested in himself, money wise, not how he can help win a Championship.
    I’m sure the Rooneys are thinking, “ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team”, and consistently do it.

  69. @rodgers419:
    there is no place for facts or stats on these boards…..

    i, for one, think fitz is way overpaid (and now megatron)…and not because they arent good enough for that type of money, they both are, but because of the dependent nature of their position. if you cant protect, or your qb doesnt pull the trigger, or any number of other things, then your $10 mil WR is worthless.

  70. Starting high as tactical negotiation is one thing; Starting so high no counter is even possible is another………

  71. I think Mike Wallace is great for Pittsburgh. And I feel like he knows it. Next season, when they have a bit more cap room, he’ll take a reasonable offer. He’s not gonna leave the Steelers unless someone throws a ridiculous amount of cash at him. @Steelerdynasty2010- I completely agree with your statement. I great WR is nothing without a great QB. Maybe that will get us Santonio back someday. Tebow a JET? LMMFAO!!! Tebow.

  72. pretty sure that the one thumbs down on every post is mike walace himself! but seriously, with brown, sanders, cotchery, miller and pope. The steelers passing game will be just fine. We will take the first round pick and the cap space. Get some line depth and give Ben a balanced offense for a change.

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