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Wallace a good bet to stay with Steelers

Three hours into free agency, the Redskins had already made a major splash while the Steelers had yet to make a peep.
Yep, that sounds about right for the start of the NFL’s New Year.
Instead of celebrating a new beginning with the popping of champagne corks, the NFL rings it in with ‘Skins owner Daniel Snyder overpaying a free agent.
The Steelers, as usual, stood back during the frenzied start to free agency. That would have been the case even if they weren’t limited by the salary cap.
The Steelers, it seems, embraced this crazy notion awhile back that winning in March doesn’t necessarily translate into winning in December and January (September, October and November, for that matter, either).
That is not to say that the Steelers are simply shutting down shop in March. They have to try and re-sign a handful of their own free agents, and they might have to make a big decision in regard to wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Here are some thoughts and observations on free agency and how it affects the Steelers.

– Wide receivers commanded as much attention as any of the free agents, and it is hard to tell what that means for Wallace.
Pierre Garcon landed a five-year, $42 million deal, according to multiple reports, from the Redskins. The Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, and Vincent Jackson looks like he is on his way to Tampa Bay.
The Redskins overpaid Garcon, making you wonder what kind of deal Wallace will be seeking. But it’s also worth wondering what the market is going to be for a Pro Bowler with a lot of upside but one for which a team is going to have to surrender a first-round pick.
Look at a couple of the teams that seemed like potential suitors for Wallace.
The 49ers aren’t signing him after bringing Randy Moss aboard as their deep threat. The Patriots are also a longshot, in my opinion, to target Wallace.
Yes, they have the cap room and draft picks to pull it off, but they have to work out a long-term deal with wide receiver Wes Welker.
They probably have to do the same after next season with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Both are restricted free agents after 2012, and the Patriots can only sink so much money in their passing game, especially since they have to upgrade their leaky defense.
I say there is a 95 percent chance that Wallace is with the Steelers in 2012. The big question is whether he is with the Steelers long term.

– Cornerback William Gay is one of a handful of unrestricted free agents that wants to stay in Pittsburgh.
“They expressed interest that they wanted me back, which is good because I want to stay,” Gay told TribLive Radio Tuesday, shortly before the start of free agency. “I want to do everything that I can to stay and hopefully the Steelers are willing to do everything they can to keep me because I love competing with these guys.”
I put Gay in a similar category as wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.
I think the Steelers have a good chance of re-signing him because of the mutual interest. But all it takes is one team to offer something that the Steelers are unable or unwilling to match for Gay to be gone.

– Ramon Foster, who is essentially an unrestricted free agent, is going to draw signficant interest outside of Pittsburgh.
Foster has been solid at right guard for two consecutive seasons and is versatile enough to also play tackle, and he won’t cost a team that wants to signs him more than money.
The Steelers, constrained as they were by the salary cap, only offered Foster an original (draft) pick tender. Since he went undrafted in 2009, a team doesn’t have to give the Steelers a draft pick as compensation if it signs Foster.
The Steelers figure to match any offer made to Foster unless it is outlandish. They have little choice given how thin they are at the position.

– Scott Brown

Comments

  1. Roy says:

    matt flynn to decide beween Miami and Cleveland

  2. D. Simms says:

    PLEASE!! will another team offer William Gay something that the Steelers are unable or unwilling to match!!

  3. Jay Walker says:

    Gay was above average last season. He should be a nickel back, though. That’s why a stud cornerback should be a top priority in the draft.

  4. Paulie Raspa says:

    I know I have stated CB in the past few Blogs — but With Allen & Brown drafted last year that 1st rd pick as CB is not likely. Gay had a Good season but is not the answer.. Maybe as a Nickel but the db’s in general played better under Carnell lake…
    Regarding Wallace — The guy is going to STAY!! But if he get’s money hungry (not that there is anything wrong than that) than the TEAM will move on!!!
    Remember we are not the SKINS, cowboys,Raiders — We build through the Draft and if players move on for more money than FINE!!! GOOD RIDDANCE– NEXT MAN UP!! OH BUT IF ANOTHER TEAM COMES WITH POCKETS OPEN — WE GET THEIR 1ST RD PICK!!! WELL — BRING IT!!!!! BUT WALLACE IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do think we should go after Grubbs from Ravens…

  5. Bill Maloni says:

    LOT Jared Gaither (Chargers), Grubb (Ravens), Herrera (Vikings) all OL worth considering, if they don’t have the coins for Nicks.

    Ditto RB Peyton Hillis.

  6. GC says:

    I would want to come back if I was Gay too. Who else wants him, hopefully someone does.

  7. prnitz says:

    William Gay had some great plays last season, some game saving plays. He had a rough start, but he showed a ton of character to play through it and get better. Most people would have wilted under the intense pressure he got from media and fans. I say the kid is going to stick in Pgh and be a solid DB. The coaches fortunately do not kow-tow to fan pressure here.

  8. Rick says:

    Yeah, Paulie, we have 2 second year DBs that were out most of last year injured. So we don’t need to use top draft picks on a CB despite many moaning ours were bad. They weren’t.

    And yes, I am very glad we aren’t the Skins, or owned by someone like Snyder, he is a consummate a$$. Remember Heath Schuler? Not suing RG II is gonna pan out the same, but they traded their future for 3 years for Schuler and got nothing in the long term.

    Pats are only team out there with deep threat desire, but as was pointed out, they have issues outside of cap. So I feel better now (Moss to SF, others in deals) about Wallace staying. He needs to put up some more similar numbers to get the long deal, especially with fall off in second half of last season.

    That said, he survived the “sophomore year let down” better than most.

    Grubbs, just cause he’s an OL, 6 years in already, good (OK), but not certain we should pay for him. Would piss off the Ravens, but so what.

    We have a month, gonna be interesting.

  9. Scott P says:

    Let’s not forget about Keenan Lewis. He has all of the intangibles. Hopefully the light will go on after another training camp under Carnell Lake. The best scenario for the Steelers is that Gay does not draw any interest, signs with the Steelers for the minimum, and is beat out by Lewis, Allen, or Brown. He is a good player to have as a back up.

  10. Carmen M says:

    Has there been any interest by the Steelers in Peyton Hillis?
    Some issues but that must have lowered his price considerbly and he may come back from lastyear’s disaster.

  11. james says:

    i like to see the steelers go after carl nicks, ben grubbs, and michael bush, now!!!!, and i redman, i needed the steelers to go after seahawks defensive end red, he is a beast!!!! we missed on a awesome pass-rusher!!!!! toooo latttttee again!!!! what do you think?

  12. Roy says:

    Steelers have no cap room to sign anyone, Grubbs Nicks Hillis? No way. Keep up people

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