Wallace a Dilema for Pittsburgh

For the first time in years, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at a crossroads in the off season.  Over the salary cap, the Steelers must not only try and renegotiate several contracts, but make decisions on what players, if any, they take a chance on losing.

The prime threat of leaving the Pittsburgh organization could be wide receiver Mike Wallace.  Wallace is one of the premier pass catchers in the NFL, but his contract is up, making him a restricted free agent.  That means any team that wants to sign Wallace would have to give a first round pick to the Steelers in order to do so.

In most circumstances, the Steelers could just slap the franchise tag on Wallace and pay him the average salary of a wide receiver in the NFL for one season.  That amount currently is at over $9 million.  However the predicament the Pittsburgh franchise falls into is they have no room under their current salary cap.  Thus they need to trim and reduce before they do that.  However the clock is running.

Still the Steelers could do just that.  It’s possible the thought of losing Wallace is just too gut wrenching.  So they could just franchise him before March 3rd and make difficult decisions in cuts elsewhere. The Steelers have dept at the receiver spot, with the emergence of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.  However a loss of Wallace is one no team would like to endure.

If the Steelers don’t find a way to keep Wallace, he could fall into the hands of such division foes as Baltimore or even Cincinnati.  It is said the Cleveland Browns would have an interest; however Wallace is still upset over the Browns passing him over in the draft for Mohammed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie.

New England could be another stop.  The Pats are expected to cut Chad Ochocinco and thus open up a spot for another receiver.  Someone with the talents of Wallace could fit perfectly into the New England system and keep the Pats on top of the AFC for another few years.

Wallace is such a talent as his presence could shift the balance of power in the AFC.  And for any team that could benefit, it would also weaken the Steelers.  Depth at the position would be gone and it would force Pittsburgh to look for another wide out in the draft.

These are the decisions that have to be made in the new NFL.  It’s almost a certainty whoever grabs up Mike Wallace will be a contender in the AFC.

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