Inside The Bills

Steelers WR Wallace worth a 1st?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 10:55 am

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace will be tendered at the first-round level, meaning a team could sign him to an offer sheet and if the cap-strapped Steelers do not match the team signing Wallace would have to compensate Pittsburgh with a first-round pick? Is he worth it?

As outlined in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers do not think he’s a $9-$10M a year receiver, not to mention their cap can’t take that kind of hit anyway. That being said I think for some teams one of the fastest receivers in the league will be worth the parting with a pick, especially teams with two in the first round (San Francisco, New England).

He’s a proven player and only has three seasons of NFL mileage on his legs, even if he slumped in the second half of the season. He’d be the perfect complement to Stevie Johnson in Buffalo, but I’d be shocked if the Bills would part with their first-round draft choice to sign him knowing there’s likely to be comparable (though not as youthful) receiver talent in the free agent market.

That’s undoubtedly what Pittsburgh is banking on as well. Knowing they can’t afford to put the franchise tag on Wallace being $10M over the cap, they’re hoping that with a bounty of receiving talent expected to hit the market not requiring first-round pick compensation, that they’ll be able to hold onto Wallace for at least another season and hopefully clear up their cap problems before next offseason and sign him to a long-term deal at that time.

It wouldn’t shock me though if some team took a swing at trying to sign Wallace. Say a team like New England that has two first-round picks and desperately needs a deep threat in the passing game. Their own pick is at the end of the first round, which makes it a better value for New England than most clubs for Wallace.

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