The opening Sunday of the NFL season is finally upon us, which is cause for much celebration. But it’s also the end of any hope that the Steelers and receiver Mike Wallace could reach an agreement on a new long-term contract.
After Wallace signed the restricted free agent tender and agreed to play this season for $2.7 million, the Steelers and Wallace’s camp were talking about a long-term deal. But both sides have indicated that those talks would come to an end when the season starts, and Jason La Canfora of CBS reports that no more talks between the Steelers and Wallace are coming until after the season.
Wallace has indicated that he wants at least as much money as the five-year, $55 million contract that Vincent Jackson got from the Buccaneers, but $11 million a year on a long-term contract may be tough for Wallace to get any time soon. If Wallace has a good year this year, the Steelers are likely to slap him with the franchise tag. If he doesn’t have a good year, and the Steelers decide he’s not worth the franchise number, then other teams probably wouldn’t view him as worth $11 million a year, either.
So Wallace may not get the contract he wants in 2013. And he definitely won’t get the contract he wants in 2012.