Steelers can, apparently won’t, reduce Wallace’s tender today

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Maybe NFL owners aren’t are ruthless as they seem.

With the labor deal giving the Steelers the ability on June 15 to remove receiver Mike Wallace’s $2.7 million restricted free agency tender and replace it with an offer of $577,500 for one year of football, the Steelers by all signs and indications won’t do it.

The Steelers apparently hope not to further inflame the situation by squeezing more than $2 million out of the player’s pockets.  But the player already has inflamed the situation by consistently refusing to show up and sign the $2.7 million offer — and the Steelers have exacerbated it by not giving him what he wants on a long-term deal.

He should be here,” owner Art Rooney II recently said of Wallace’s absence from a mandatory minicamp, which isn’t mandatory for players not under contract.  And Rooney is right.  And there was a way to ensure that Wallace will “be here” when training camp opens and the process of installing Todd Haley’s offense intensifies.  If the Steelers had made it known that Wallace’s tender would be reduced, then Wallace likely would have signed the contract now.

If the Steelers don’t exercise their one-day-only right to cram more than $2 million back into their pockets, Wallace could boycott training camp and the entire preseason at no financial penalty.  Though this would make it harder for him to have an impact if he shows up in the days preceding the regular-season opener in Denver, staying away is his only leverage toward a long-term deal.

And that’s why the Steelers should use their leverage toward getting him to “be here.”

It’s possible that the Steelers blinked simply because agent Bus Cook persuaded them that, if the tender is reduced, Wallace won’t show up until Week 10.  Once the game checks drop from $158,000 to $33,970, it would be far easier to extend a holdout into the regular season.

Of course, it sounds far more charitable to leave the money on the table due to concerns regarding the preservation of the relationship with the player.

Either way, the Steelers had every right to put the squeeze on Wallace.  And squeeze they should have.

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11 responses to “Steelers can, apparently won’t, reduce Wallace’s tender today

  1. thank goodness I would never be able to live off a mere half mill a year!!! joking aside as far as the nfl he’s worth at least 2.7 mill so good for him even though he was looking for a lot more.

  2. I don’t get it. I suppose it’s possible that Wallace has said privately that he will show up on date X, but not if they reduce his tender offer. But then Rooney presumably wouldn’t have been talking.

    While PIT has always been good in the draft, they have never been that good in contract negotiation. So it’s also possible that they just misjudge the situation.

    In any case, why does reducing his tender inflame the situation? Doesn’t it just give him more incentive to negotiate a contract for this year, even if not a long-term one? Isn’t it clear to both sides that a long-term deal isn’t happening?

    But what I really don’t understand is who the hell came up with this ridiculous system in the first place. Why should a player be able to not show up until week 10, but still get credit for a year of service? Why do they give the team a 1-day window to reduce the tender?

  3. Of course they’re not going to do it. They’ve never done it. They never will do it. It’s not the way they do business. Anyone who follows the team in any detail knows this.

  4. So the Steelers are the class act franchise in the NFL. This tells you a lot about why players want to play for the Rooney’s and for the Steelers Nation.

    The Steelers hold all the cards but they value stability over the almighty dollar.

    Wonder if the Ratbirds are going to take care of Uni-Brow and Condeleezza Rice?

  5. Wallace will not be a Steeler after this year if he insists on breaking the bank. You’ll never find a Steeler as the highest paid player at a position. They’re not cheap, they spend to the cap every year, they just believe in spreading the $ around.

  6. While I appreciate what Wallace brings to my team, the names Holmes and burress ring in my ear. They left for more money and ended up finding more trouble. So while I would love for him to stay, I think we’ll be fine without him. I just hope if he goes to another team, he stays out of trouble.

  7. “Steelers can, apparently won’t, reduce Wallace’s tender today”


    Gutless wonders…

  8. While Wallace won’t get the money he has reportedly asked for, he has certainly outplayed his contract so far. As an earlier poster said, the Steelers are not cheap and they press against the salary to the point of needing restructured contracts every offseason to get under it.

    Most of those teams with a bunch of players that make massive bank aren’t super bowl contenders because they lack quality depth. The Steelers spread the cash around, generally have very good depth and usually are super bowl contenders. They do as good a job at this as anyone in the league.

    I have to think that a team-first group like the Steeler players are putting some serious peer pressure on Wallace. His partner Brown certainly has been, with media statements about how differently he will handle his own negotiations next year. After all, where did any money the Steelers have for his pay raise, even the tender offer, come from? His teammates’ contract restructurings.

  9. Excuse me? The team has exacerbated the situation by not giving Wallace what he wants? What Wallace wants is unreasonable. If your teenager is throwing a tantrum because he can’t have a bottle of Jack and two hookers, are you exacerbating the situation by not giving it to him? As the Stones said, You can’t always get what you want.

    The Steelers aren’t reducing his tender because that’s not how they do business. They’re acting completely in character–no surprises here. They also don’t bet the farm on someone who only touches the ball a few times a game–especially not when he’s deluded himself into thinking he’s Larry Fitzgerald. He’ll play for what he’s worth, or he’ll sit out, lose game checks, and further damage his value on the market next year. At this point, most of us don’t care which.

  10. No one that is a true Steeler fan is surprised by the organization’s attitude here. As some have said above, that is not the way they do business. Some like quittsburgh above will make a negative comment either way. If they reduced it he would have said “cheapskates”, but instead he says “gutless”. But, he is merely clueless about anything related to the Steelers other than they beat the crap out of his team consistently and repeatedly, which makes that little boy frustrated apparently.

    As I have said, I prefer to keep Wallace on the team. If Wallace doesn’t act unprofessionally, and now offers some compromise since the Steelers aren’t going to squeeze him, the organization likely will do what they can to sign him within the rules but clearly won’t meet his overpriced demand.

    And I believe that most Steeler fans will be OK if he is with the team for the next contract or not. Most of us support the organization which is classy and in most cases reasonable with players, not one player who is not the most important player on the team, and maybe not even the most talented one at his position on the team for the long-run.

  11. Why not? They absolutely should. This team is going to be bankrupt years 2013-2016, might as well save all the money they can.

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