The Pittsburgh Steelers and Mike Wallace are still engaged in a contract standoff following the team's decision to place a first-round restricted free agent tender on the wide receiver. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the team will not reduce his tender from $2.77 million to $577,000 as allowed by the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
It denies the team some leverage in negotiations with Wallace, but the team feels that the move will prevent things from getting worse. Reducing the tender might have made it easier for Wallace to extend his holdout deeper into the regular season, similar to what happened between the Chargers and Vincent Jackson in 2010.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert defended the decision, saying:
"When we tendered Mike at the amount we did, the compensation through that tender, we really had no issue with that whatsoever because he is deserving of that."
Wallace has skipped the entirety of the team's spring OTAs and minicamps. He is seeking a long-term contract that would make him one of the NFL's highest paid receivers.
The Steelers open training camp on July 25. Wallace can extend his holdout through Nov. 12 and still qualify to be an unrestricted free agent next year. If he holds out the entire season, he loses his eligibility and becomes a restricted free agent again in 2013.
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