A standoff is brewing between the Pittsburgh Steelers and restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace. According to reports from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wallace will not sign his RFA offer sheet and will not report to offseason activities, which are scheduled to begin next week. Adding another layer to the situation is a report that "several" teams are interested in trading for the disgruntled receiver.
Wallace is not willing to sign his RFA tender because he wants a long-term deal. And not just any long-term deal -- he wants a contract that would make him one of the highest-paid receivers in the league. Something comparable, in his own words, to the eight-year, $128 million deal Larry Fitzgerald signed in August 2011.
It seems unlike Wallace would sit out the entire season, thus losing a year of eligibility toward free agency and setting him up to be a restricted free agent again in 2013. That puts the Steelers in the position of being able to either trade him now or let him walk after the season for no compensation.
The Steelers are in a tough spot because they need to find younger players throughout the roster while operating uncomfortably close to the cap. The same report notes that the team is unwilling to meet Wallace's contract demands.
If a trade happens, it would most likely take place between now and the NFL draft, which starts in exactly two weeks.