So far this offseason we have seen many teams move to quickly obtain the unrestricted free agents they want but so far we have had no activity regarding Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.
In terms of strategy to obtain Wallace, this is going to be like a poker game. There are certainly teams interested in the talented wideout but if they were to show their hand and indicate what they’re prepared to pay for him then they lose the element of surprise.
What the various interested parties are doing right now is sitting on their available cash and watching the free agency market pan out. They make the few hires that they need to ensure they have a full compliment of players and then establish how much they have left to use in an offer for Wallace.
For this reason you can automatically dismiss teams with multiple needs. You’re not going to see the likes of the Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns or San Diego Chargers going for Wallace as they need to spend their money elsewhere.
The teams to watch in this race are still the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. These are two teams that have a decent amount of cap room, aren’t buying up expensive free agents and have teams that don’t have a whole lot of rebuilding to do. The Patriots probably should focus more on their defense but Bill Belichick is the type who will go cheap to get the job done there.
I do have an interesting dark horse to make a grab for Wallace – the Carolina Panthers. Yes, they have the #8 overall pick. Yes, they have several team needs. The thing about Carolina is that they do have a decent team and they can, like New England, use the stars they have already and with smart strategy build a team with cheap free agents and later draft picks. Mike Wallace would give them an explosive weapon for Cam Newton and free up Steve Smith. Not saying it’ll happen but don’t be surprised if it does.
To fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers I say this – you will have to look over your shoulders for quite a while yet. The nervous wait will go on for quite some time and may continue right through until the deadline on April 14th.