WALLACE LIKELY TO PLAY 2012 SEASON ON FIRST ROUND TENDER
Chatter coming out of Mike Wallace’s camp since the combine has been that Wallace wants to get paid like one of the top-5 wide receivers in the NFL and it appears that talk is spot on.
In fact, Wallace’s demands might be even higher than expected, according to league executives around the league.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco 49ers looked into Wallace last week but were quickly turned away by his demands. A league source (likely 49ers front office person) told the Sacramento Bee that Wallace, 25, wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed last year with the Cardinals. While I fully believe the report is legitimate and likely came from a 49ers front office person, we’re told Wallace has not gone to the Steelers with those type of outrageous demands. However, the two sides remain very far apart and there’s a big gap between what the Steelers feel Wallace is worth and what Wallace feels he is worth, team sources say.
Fitzgerald type of money is something the Steelers will never come close to but Wallace on the open market next season is likely receive over $30 million in guaranteed money, according to NFL sources. The most guaranteed money the Steelers have given a player,
was $33.2 million to Ben Roethlisberger. LaMarr Woodley is second with $22.5 million in guaranteed money on his new deal last summer and James Harrison received $20 million in guaranteed money in 2009.
Many believe Wallace will certainly play next season on his first round tender of $7.42 million due to the significant gap between the two sides. However, there is no chance of a holdout with Wallace just a year away from free agency.
The Steelers are an organization who believe wide receiver is the easiest position to replace and some league executives feel the Steelers will look to get the most out of Wallace like they did with Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress and then let them go at the right time before a big pay day — Translation let Wallace walk via free agency next season if his demands don’t come down —
Here’s a breakdown of Larry Fitzgerald’s 8 year, $120 million contract he signed last summer:
The deal contains $50 million guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus and first-year roster bonus of $8 million. Fitzgerald is eligible for annual $250,000 workout bonuses in years two through eight. 2012: $5 million (+ $6 million roster bonus due 3/31), 2013: $5 million (+ $10 million option bonus due 3/15), 2014: $12.75 million, 2015: $8 million (+ $8 million roster bonus), 2016: $15 million, 2017-2018: $14.75 million, 2019: Free Agent