Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 4/26/12

With the deadline for restricted free agent signings passing last Friday, Mike Wallace will not play for anyone but the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. According to ESPN, Wallace isn’t planning on signing such a deal any time soon and has been upset with contract negotiations thus far. Wallace could potentially hold out until week 10 of next season. There has been speculation that Wallace could be hoping to be traded on draft day. With the lack of interest in Wallace this offseason, however, it seems unlikely to me that the Steelers will receiver many attractive offers come draft day.

In retrospect, the Steelers were wise to resist offering Wallace the franchise tag. Wallace is a great receiver, but he has not proven that he is deserving of a franchise tag at this stage in his career. General Manager Kevin Colbert was correct in predicting that the decision regarding Wallace’s future would be their own in the end due to a lack of movement on the restricted market.

With all the veteran cuts the Steelers made in order to keep Wallace, they would be crazy to disenfranchise him and risk a long-term holdout from Wallace in 2012. Wallace probably isn’t worthy of Larry Fitzgerald type money, but he is a young player that still has room to improve. With his best years ahead of him, it’s absolutely crucial that the Steelers sign Wallace to a long-term deal now before he loses his loyalty to the Steelers.

If Wallace ends up holding out into the regular season, the Steelers offseason will have been a complete failure. If they had kept a lot of veterans and cut ties with Wallace instead, I would have questioned the move. If they go into the 2012 season without those veterans and Wallace, however, then they completely blew it.

-Demers

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