Mike Wallace is the best Free Agent available and he wants to be paid like it. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported that Wallace is looking for a contract in the range of 8-yrs worth just over $120 million. There’s no coincidence that those numbers are almost identical to the contract Larry Fitzgerald received from the Cardinals.
Wallace obviously wants to be paid like one of the top receivers, but there’s no way a team will offer him a contract close to that. I believe on the open market he could get a similar contract to what he’s asking, but lets keep in mind, he’s still a restricted Free Agent.
If a team offers Wallace a contract, not only do the Steelers have an opportunity to match the offer (They would never match an 8-yrs $120 million contract offer), but if they don’t the team who signs Wallace would be forced to give up a 1st-round pick as compensation to the Steelers.
If Wallace doesn’t lower his offer, and doesn’t find a team willing to pay his price (and the Steelers price), he’ll be forced to sign a 1-yr. restricted Free Agent tender.
Wallace is no doubt a top receiver, but as a speed guy, how much of a shelf-life does he have? Wallace will be 26-yrs. old this season, players usually start to slow once they hit their early thirties. Is there a team out there willing to give him a contract that big that pays him into his age-34 season? Unlikely.
Mike Wallace has averaged 66 receptions for 1225 yards and 9 TD’s. He has spent his entire 3-yr. career with the Steelers after being drafted 84th overall.