Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, who reportedly won’t sign his $2.7 million restricted free agency tender until he has to, likely will have to in the next week or so.
If he doesn’t by June 15, the Steelers can replace his current offer with a tender in the amount of 110 percent of Wallace’s base salary in 2011. And since he received a base salary of $525,000 as a third-year pro in 2011, the Steelers will be able to retain his rights for all of 2012 for a mere $577,500.
The authority comes from Article 9, Section 2(f)(i) of the CBA. Though the reduction wouldn’t happen automatically, the Steelers would have the right to do it, if the Steelers so choose. And the window is open for only one day, so they can’t hold it over Wallace’s head in the hopes of getting him to sign a long-term deal.
If Wallace is willing to give up more than $2 million by holding out beyond June 15, there’s a good chance Wallace will hold out into the regular season. After losing more than $2 million by not signing before June 15, losing only $33,970 per week would be peanuts.