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Wallace was offered more than Brown


Mark Kaboly | Tribune Review

He needs to show up to camp … he needs to show good faith to the organization … he is being selfish.

With the Mike Wallace holdout reaching its third day, the court of public opinion has been heavily weighted toward the organization’s side.

And probably for good reason.

Wallace was offered a 5-year deal in the range of $50 million, but he decided that wasn’t enough.

Now, the Steelers have had enough.

With the organization going out of their comfort zone and signing Antonio Brown to a 5-year, $42 million contract on Friday two years before his contract was up, the Steelers sent a strong and potent message to Wallace – don’t mess with us when it comes to contract negotiations.

There is no way Wallace will get the money he wants now from the Steelers now since Brown signed.

Sure, they could always franchise him next year that would cost them close to $10 million for one season (something they absolutely can’t afford next year being already approximately $15-18 million over the cap), but that’s unlikely.

But before that, can the relationship be repaired at all to allow the Steelers to even consider that?

Wallace’s best option now is to not sign his tender until he has to (Nov. 13) and hope that the Steelers don’t franchise him next year so he can be an unrestricted free agent. There’s really nothing financially in it for Wallace to sign his tender and report to camp now.

As Gordon Gekko said in the movie “Wall Street”, Greed is good … well, in this case, not for Mike Wallace.

Greed cost Mike Wallace a job with the Steelers.


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. David says:

    Luckily for Mike Wallace, 31 other teams would love to hire him.

  2. I am a life long Steeler fan and Mike Wallace has messed this one up badly. No offense to football players but I will lose my job between feb and june of next year for a second time. Mike Wallace, be thankful you can sign a tender for a job you love which is sport because I don’t have that option and I am not saying you don’t deserve a raise but Larry Fitzgerald you are not.


    William Stefanko “AKA THE BLUE MAN OF WVU”

  3. Anthony A says:

    Trade him, I beleive Sanders has the potential to be a very good receiver. When drafted I thought he had more potential than Brown. I know he needs to stay healthy, but if he does I expect him to do well. Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, Miller would not be too bad. Obviously Wallace would add to the group, but if he doesn’t want to be here I would’nt want him anyway. Trade him for whatever you can get. You could use 1/4 of the money you saved and sign Burress to add to the mix. I think Burress would love to come back, I sure Ben would love that too.

  4. DB says:

    It was a stretch to offer a 5 year 50 million deal to Wallace. He is not that good yet. To not accept 50 million vs 55 tells me Mike doesn’t care who he plays for. Either that or he knows due to the skill of the other receivers on the team and the way other defenses shut him down toward the end of last year that his numbers this year will not be as good as last year thus making this year the year to take they money and run. Run Mike run – right onto someone else’s team.

    There is a lot to be said about the unknown which he will find out when he goes elsewhere. Will it be worth 5 million over 5 years? It’s looking like he will find out. If he as willing it was me He also must not have fit into the team that well for him to turn down such a generous off

  5. cmtaylor says:

    Let him go we don’t need wallace… Steelers will not bow dow to such things… atleast Wallace should have showe up and show good faith that he is worth what he wants,,,
    I say we should have kept Hines for another year,,,,

  6. Chris says:

    You must be high. You want to trade Wallace, one of the best deep threats in the league for Burress? Plexiglass Butterfinger Burress? No. Noooooo no no. What precisely do you think Burress adds to the team that we don’t already have? Aside from, of course, his general thugnificence. While we’re at it, let’s go get T.O. and see if Miami will trade us Ochocinco.

    No, this year you bring Mike back, let him prove he is what he thinks he is, and then let someone else overpay for the pleasure of his inflated sense of self-worth. Then we’re in the market for another young receiver in the next draft. No fuss, no muss. Steeler way. Hines told him he didn’t want to leave, so let him go and see how he likes things outside the best team on earth.

  7. Nick says:

    There is a huge reason for Wallace to sign his tender and go to camp. 2,750,000 reasons to be exact. Wallace is obviously driven by money, so the Steelers will hit him where it hurts. They will reduce his tender to the minimum and he’ll only get a small portion of that if he holds out till November.

  8. james says:

    no, make him wait, when he is ready to sign, sign him and then bench him, i understand you want to make the most you can, but greed is not good!!! greed can’t throw a pass, greed can’t block, greed can’t snap the ball, greed can’t catch the ball, greed doesn’t win championships either!!!! only a team does!!!!! send a message to mike wallace, that no one is bigger, or greedier than the team, mike can’t win a superbowl by himself, but the team can & have done so a few times!!!! so stay at home mike, and dream about that 5 year 50 million dollar deal that you never had or will get again!! mr greed, CAN YOU DIG IT?????

  9. emac2 says:

    The Steelers taught Wallace a lesson by doing something they didn’t want to do? I’m not sure that would be smart or even mature for that matter. I think they did it because Brown was willing to sign under market in exchange for getting his money early and Wallace wanted more than a receiver that is twice as far from free agency.

  10. John G says:

    Wallace not signing is a dissapointment for sure but I would be hesitant to trade him
    at least not yet. His mere presence on the field even if the pass is not thrown to him makes the opposing defense respect his speed and opens up routes for the other receivers. Like Ron Cook wrote in Post Gazette he needs someone like Ben to talk with him similar to the way Bettis spoke with Hines Ward during his holdout or even his friend from childhood Keenan Lewis. I realize he wants Larry Fitzgerald type of money but the Steelers are a better team than Arizona and also have other good recievers and players they have to pay, more good playetrs than Arizona..

  11. BILL says:

    Football is the ultimate team game. You win by having your 11 man offense and defense work as a unit. It is not about personal stats or glory. Mike Wallace has to understand that his success is contingent on the other 10 members of his unit having success completing their assignments.

    Greed does not make for success in football. I hope Mike comes to camp and bonds with his teammates

  12. Bill Maloni says:

    In a way, the damage is done; MW just has to bide his time and he will get traded to a team which will meet all or most of his price.

    That’s a sign to Steeler players who only care about the money and not for whom they play and the tradition of same.

  13. GC says:

    Let me say first that MW is not worth what he thinks he is–L Fitz comes down with every pass anywhere near him and is a first ballot HOFamer. But I wonder why people call MW greedy for trying to get as much money as possible, but the Steelers are not greedy for trying to keep as much as possible??? The truth is that neither are greedy, both are trying to be strategic (though MW does not understand that he ain’t going to beat the Steelers at this). But folks, really, the players create 99% of the value in this industry–THEY ARE the product–if you don’t think so, then ask yourself how much would you pay to see the owners play?

  14. KnockWood says:

    Get a clue people; You don’t have the player’s perspective – or talents – so of course you don’t get it an individual says ‘Sorry, but I’m worth more than that’. I want MW in camp as much as anyone but he is the only one who gets to decide if he will accept this contract..and that’s something else that the majority of you all -including the media – either don’t get or ignore because it makes the player sound more greedy. I keep seeing that MW is a camp holdout. You have to have a CONTRACT to be a holdout…MW has no contract with the Steelers PERIOD. The Steelers have exclusive negotiation rights with with MW under the CBA, he has a RFA tender OFFER but he does NOT have a cotract, ergo he is NOT a holdout. D y’all get that yet?
    Now, from my diatribe you would think I must be a Wallace toadie or at least a Wallace fan. You would be wrong again. I think Wallace is an exceptional talent and a true number one receiver in the league, something AB – great work ethic but tiny in size (yet to see him win a jump ball), very poor route skills to this point, and with a much lower ceiling than MW – will never be. And BTW Mark Kaboly, what a stupid blog entry title!!! What a Homer!!!! We know you blindly worship and parrot any company line from the organization, but want to ratchet down the ‘greedy player ‘ spin here? OF COURSE MW, turned down more money than AB took BECAUSE THE STEELERS OFFERED HIM MORE MONEY. When was the last time the Steelers offered more than market or overpaid for a player? I really want to say it would be Timmons contract last year, but frankly, this contract for AB is the biggest example I can think of…but it is still the same type of pay for hopeful potential than paying for actual production.

    It might not be believed but I am a charter member of Steeler nation, back to the days before most of you were born; the dark days of Bill Austin, players like Bill Saul and Kent Nix. The Steelers have a horrible record of managing their WideOuts back going back to Roy Jefferson and I’m sure there were instances before that. They are right, more often than not, but this MW situation has similarities to the Frank Lewis-to-Buffalo-trade, although that was over playing time, not money. What makes this most frustrating is that I’m confident that with MW as the #1 receiver, Haley’s new offense would have lit the leauge, and we’d be on the way to another deep playoff run. With no true #1 WR – and please don’t any one even TRY to make an argument that AB or Sanders can be a true #1 – we’ll just do the best we can with what we have. When all the rest of Media/Parrots/Peanut Gallery start to whine about Haley’s offense, I’ll just smile…

  15. Dick says:

    Bus Cook, as an agent, you let this guy, (MW). down. Of course you want to negotiate the best contract you can, but you have to be able to offer the best possible advice to your client. This you did not do. I don’t believe you looked past your cut of this contract or had your client’s best interests at heart. Mike Wallace, why would you let this negotiation reach the point where it poisoned your relationship with the team that gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Yes you have talent but I also saw a player who last year in the last half of the season had trouble getting open and couldn’t make the tough catch when he had to. It looked like opposing defenses had had found the way to control you. A premier wideout is not so easily controlled. You bragged of a 2,000 yard season. What happened? You are not in the 15 million per year club yet, Mike. Unfortunately, you and your agent cannot see it. You may get there, but you have yet to prove it. There is one thing you have proved though. You are ungrateful to the team that gave you your big chance and obviously you are not a team player. So, continue to hide in your corner and sulk.

  16. Clarence says:

    To Dick… I thought I read that Bus Cook was against Wallace holding out of camp. This was Wallace’s idea and a bad move when so close to doing a deal. Listen, I get & agree with going after your paper. NFL careers are short with very few guarantees. You have to do this…

    But $50 mil over 5 years? Only Vincent Jackson’s $55 mil over 5 years is bigger. It was a slap in the face of the organization to not show up to camp after that offer. He could have signed his tender, showed up in camp and countered… chances are, knowing how the Steelers operate, the deal would have been done probably very close to the Jackson contract.

    Instead, he chose to embarrass the team with the most SB wins in the league. A perennial winner and for what? The Steelers won 6 lombardy trophies before him and will win more after him.

    Well, it doesn’t matter now. That move, in 1 stroke, got him out of Pittsburgh.I wish the best for him, but I believe he vastly overvalued himself and burned a bridge in the city of bridges with the organization and us fans…

    While the TV pundits say he could get $15 to $20 mil per year, they don’t sign the contracts or take the risks. If he was so valuable why didn’t anyone sign him this offseason? No, $15 or $20 mil is way too much for any receiver, Just like giving up a 1st round draft pick for him. So, brown, happily accepted your contract. We’re done here… and we no longer want you here…. find a trade partner and get the hell out or sign your tender Nov. 13 and ride the pine for the rest of the year and see what you get. Oh, We’ll get another 3rd rounder for you. Don’t let the doorknob hit ya…

  17. Christian says:

    Mike Wallace, you BLEW it! A chance to be on a Super Bowl contending team every year for $10 million a year? The Steelers were willing to pay you, and they don’t pay receivers! Above it all, you were a Restricted Free Agent! The only unsigned one in the entire league. And the older and former Steelers told you how to handle this. Hines warned you about being too greedy. But you didn’t listen to arguable the most respected player in franchise history. You know better, right? While we’d love to keep you, the disrespect that you showed the organization and your teammates is unacceptable. And by the way, you came up EMPTY on that last drive against Green Bay in the Super Bowl. They should’ve gone to Hines & Heath instead of your one trick pony act. Sign your tender and if nobody has a long term injury, ala Mendenhall, we don’t franchise you, and you make your money in Washington while never winning anything.

  18. Pete says:

    A little while back, Brown made the comment that come this time next year (as a restricted free agent), he would be at all OTAs, mini-camps and training camp. It was a not so subtle hint that he would handle things differently than Wallace.

    While each player tries to get as much as he can in a contract, I fail to understand how someone can reject a $50 million, 5-year deal. If even $15 million was guaranteed, he’s set for life. The average worker cannot even fathom these numbers. In my mind it was a stupid decision on the part of Wallace and his agent. I hope they’re able to finally accept a good offer from the Steelers but if not, see ya Mike.

  19. John says:

    Steelers should trade him….if they can. Wallace is, like Tomlin has called him in the past, a one trick pony…..although his one trick is pretty damn good. All it would take is one leg injury to slow him down a half step and then he is just another of many WR’s. Receivers are a dime a dozen these days. We don’t need him!

  20. K2 says:

    Goes without saying, get the money while you can, but 50 million over 5 yrs to play for a storied fanchise, with a team set up to make SB runs and a team that gets nationally televised (Primetime) games… Sounds like small thinking to me…Who’s your agent Mike???.

    Got to love the money being handed over to A. Brown… He showed up BIG in the big games last year anyway… Not so much you Mike !

    As usual, the Steelers got it right!

  21. BigLev says:

    Sorry Mike, but you couldn’t block for the running game, couldn’t go over the middle and a one arm tackle can bring you down. For your respected one dimensional deep speed route, not signing with the Steelers for nearly 50 Million, is unthinkable. Sorry Mike, I wish you the best but you would have become the best with the Steelers.

  22. Jeff says:

    A trade to an NFC West team could work — the Cards and Seahawks need receivers and the Cardinals have a habit of picking up Steeler players. Am sure Ken W would love to have him line up on the other side of Larry F. Would he net a 1st round pick? As a Pro Bowler, he may. I’d definitely take a second rounder if not a 1st. Next year the Steelers could use an extra pick for defense since they have done a nice job on offense the past two season in the draft. I thought MW really lacked the grit it takes to go over the middle — didn’t he drop a number of balls on the slant route last season? Not catching the slant inside the red zone may have cost PGH points they badly needed as a middle ranked offensive team.

    Goodbye Mike, we enjoyed the show for 8 games last year, hope it’s enjoyed at least two time zones west.

  23. michaelbro8 says:

    Business is Business.
    Wallace has a figure in mind he thinks he’s worth; the Steelers have a figure in mind that they think he’s worth. The two figure don’t match, and apparently aren’t very close. So everyone moves on. It happens.

  24. David Brock says:

    whats the saying, ” there are others waiting behind you!

  25. BamaSteeler says:

    31 other teams, name them big guy, tell me who would pay crazy money for Mikey, I can name a few who will not

    New England
    Green Bay
    San Fran
    New Orleans
    Denver —- They just gave it all to Manning

    There is no market out there for an over priced WR..none at all, to many teams have been burned to many times by these premodomas…

    Plax, Moss, T O, Santonio, Antwaan Randel, etc etc etc…

  26. BamaSteeler says:

    Knowing how Haley loves Scat backs, do not be surprised to see both Rainey and Maze on this team and making big impacts as rookies, Maze is incredible and very shifty as is Rainey, this offense is going to be so much better this year. The we gotta haeve it deep mentailty is gone and that also means there is no need for Wallace, he was a deep threat but Haley likes to keep winging to the backs and TE’s so a guy like Wallace just will not fit into this offense, especially since he is holding out while the others are practicing…

  27. […] Wallace was offered more than Brown | The Steel Mill – Blogs2012. 7. 27. – Wallace was offered a 5-year deal in the range of $50 million, but he decided that wasn’t enough. … to Wallace ? don’t mess with us when it comes to contract negotiations. … Greed cost Mike Wallace a job with the Steelers. […]

  28. […] didn’t have all of his baggage, he’d likely have stayed in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers weren’t willing to match Miami’s offer because they knew his speed and attitude was replaceable. They’ve been […]

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