INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 25: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hauls in an 81-yard touchdown pass in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
It has gotten to this point with the Pittsburgh Steelers and their elite wide receiver Mike Wallace. Rumors are beginning to swirl, and longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette scribe Ed Bouchette thinks that it is in the best interests of the Steelers and Wallace to part way via a trade.
Pittsburgh recently signing fellow WR Antonio Brown to an extension (rumored to be nearly identical to the one Wallace flatly refused) was seen by many as the franchise swinging a sledgehammer at Wallace and his contract demands. He'll either sign his one-year tender and play for the Steelers in 2012, or (perhaps) there will be a trade.
Bouchette thinks trade is best:
A sign-and-trade remains a possibility, but the Steelers do not like to go that route because it might set a precedent for a player or players to force trades similarly in the future. However, a trade technically can happen and the scenario would look like this: The Steelers give another team or teams permission to talk to Wallace to try to work out a deal. If they do, Wallace would sign his one-year tender with the Steelers, who then would trade him to the other team.
What could they get for Wallace at this point? No team apparently was willing to give up a first-round draft choice for him when he was a restricted free agent, so why would they do it now? Santonio Holmes, remember, brought them only a fifth-round pick. I’m guessing with Wallace, it could be a fourth-rounder.
Rotoworld mastermind and PFT writer Evan Silva thinks the Colts are one of the more logical trading partners:
Of course, my buddy Evan is doing this to tantalize me with visions of Andrew Luck throwing 70-yard bombs to a streaking Wallace down the sideline.
Wallace became a top tier NFL receiver under the coaching guidance of current Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to scheme defenses against Wallace when Pagano was an assistant and coordinator in Baltimore. Oh, and G.M. Ryan Grigson seems to value speed over everything else.
Yeah, Wallace in a Colts uniform would be pretty
sweat sweet. And yes, I'd trade a fourth rounder for him... GLADLY!
Question is, do the Colts have the cap space to sign him long term? If this guy wants Larry Fitzgerald money, forget it. Wallace is an excellent deep threat, but he's not Larry Fitzgerald.