When reports first surfaced regarding the possibility of Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Mike Wallace leaving in free agency, it was brushed off by some as mere speculation. Now, the Steelers themselves are beginning to fear that the speculation could become an awful reality.
According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, there is beginning to be “real concern” in the Steelers front office about the future of Wallace.
The Steelers have so little salary cap space to spare that Wallace cannot be franchised. With the franchise tag financially unreasonable, the only option left for the Steelers is to place a first-round tender on Wallace. This leaves the possibility of Wallace accepting an offer from a team that is willing to part ways with a first-rounder.
Are there teams out there that would sacrifice a first-round pick for Wallace? Of course. Sure, Wallace has rooms for improvement in his game, but he is an elite deep threat that can change any team’s offense. Just imagine the possibility of Wallace on the New England Patriots — who have two first-round picks — catching the deep ball from Tom Brady.
How about Wallace stretching the field in Baltimore and catching long touchdown passes from Joe Flacco for the Ravens?
Those are just two teams with late first-round picks that could give up the pick for a player of Wallace’s caliber and both teams have been mentioned as early destinations for Wallace. There are also teams like the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers, who are looking to add veteran wide receivers. The market is definitely there for Wallace, so the Steelers need to proceed with caution.