Mike Wallace has put together a pair of pretty productive seasons, going over 1,000 yards receiving for the Pittsburgh Steelers the past two years. Pittsburgh's front office wants to watch Wallace do that in the future, too, and they're apparently willing to extend their franchise tag in order to keep him in a Steelers uniform.
Hines Ward might not be back next season and there are a few other wide receivers who aren't quite sure of their status for next season, but Wallace is probably going to be in Pittsburgh for the long run. General manager Kevin Colbert spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about Wallace's future with the team:
Any of our young players that have opportunities of getting contracts elsewhere, especially when they're young, ascending players, sure we want to keep them and they all become priorities. Certainly Mike has done a lot to establish himself as a Pro Bowl receiver and we want to try to keep Mike here for the long run.
If the team does indeed to go the route of franchise tagging Wallace, SB Nation Pittsburgh has the details on what it would mean:
A franchise tag would pay Wallace a little bit less than $10 million and give the Steelers exclusive negotiating rights to try and iron out a long-term deal. They can also extend a first-round tender worth less than $3 million, but that would enable Wallace to negotiate with other teams and could force the Steelers to match a contract they don't want to pay or risk losing him to another club.
It'll be interesting to see what happens as this situation plays out, but it sounds like Wallace will be getting paid by Pittsburgh.
For more on Hines Ward and the Pittsburgh Steelers, visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind The Steel Curtain.