Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 3/15/12

On NFL Live today ESPN analyst Adam Schefter made it seem like the Steelers were going to keep Mike Wallace for 2012.  He said no teams are going to make a move on Wallace “unless circumstances change.”  This is due to the free agent market for Wide Receivers.  The price for these guys has been ridiculous this offseason.

The price for Wallace plus a first round pick may turn out to be to much.  It is causing teams to “shy away” according to Schefter.  All good news for the Steelers. Wallace has better stats then DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon and they both got $15+ million guaranteed.  Jackson had the higher of the two contracts overall but Garcon had more guaranteed money.

Contracts:

  • Jackson- 5 Years and $51 million- $15 million guaranteed
  • Garcon- 5 Years and $42 million- $20.5 million guaranteed

Stats comparison for 2012:

  • Yards- Wallace 1,193, Jackson 961, Garcon 947
  • Catches- Wallace 72, Garcon 70, Jackson 58
  • YPC- Wallace 16.6, Jackson 16.6, Garcon 13.5
  • First Downs- Wallace 54, Garcon 42, Jackson 39
  • Touchdowns- Wallace 8, Garcon 6, Jackson 4

In the 5 major categories Wallace is number one in all of them.  He is only tied in YPC with DeSean Jackson.  Otherwise it is not even close.  Garcon gets a little bit of a pass as there was no Peyton Manning this year for the Colts.  His stats did improve from last season but they would have been better with Manning.  Wallace definitely deserves to be paid more then these two guys.

Does he deserve to be paid more then Vincent Jackson.  Jackson got 5 years and $55 Million with 26 million of that guaranteed.  Jackson got most of his money up front as the Buccaneers had the cap space to pay him now where as the Steelers do not.  Wallace and Jackson are almost identical in stats.  Jackson had one more touchdown and had almost two yards more per catch.  Wallace had more 12 more catches and 87 more yards.  They had the same number of first downs.  Wallace did catch a better percentage of passes thrown his way.

Wallace is more of a dynamic player who can blow you away with speed.  He is also younger.  If I had to choose though on talent alone I would pick Jackson.  Jackson does something that Wallace will not do.  He goes and gets the ball.  If you throw it up he is going to come down with it.  He jumps up and keeps it away from the defender.  Wallace keeps his hands down and lets the ball come to him rather than going to get it.  He does not fight for the ball like Jackson does.  If Wallace could learn how to do this he would pass Jackson by leaps and bounds.  He is not there yet but he is still young.  So at this point Jackson should get the larger contract.

So that puts the Steelers at 5 years and between $51 and $55 million with between $15 and $26 million guaranteed.  That is a good start.  Wallace is going to try to get more and the Steelers will try to go less.  That is a good baseline though.

The next very important question is who has the leverage?

At this point in time it has to be the Steelers.  Wallace has received no offers and from the looks of it he hasn’t really gotten much attention.  That makes him almost stuck with the Steelers.  They are in the drivers seat in this scenario.  Wallace will have to take the Steelers best offer or play out this year under the $2.7 million tender offer.  That is a big risk for Wallace.  He is built on speed.  If he were to get hurt his main weapon would start to decrease and his value would go down.  I do not think that is something that Wallace can take a chance on.

The last scenario to think about is will the Steelers be able to pay Wallace and Antonio Brown?  If they pay Wallace this year they may not have the funds to pay Brown who will be in the same situation as Wallace this year.  He will be a restricted free agent.  He will also need a new contract just like Wallace does this season.  The Steelers will look to keep Brown and Wallace together.  They will have to budget appropriately though.  To keep both guys they will not be able to give out 2 $5o million receiver contracts in two years.

It looks like the Steelers have Wallace for at least one more year.  Wallace came into free agency planning to break the bank.  If he does it looks like it will be with the Steelers.  I like the sound of that.

 

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