The Pittsburgh Steelers have many pressing needs this offseason. Near the bottom of that priority list should be adding a high-priced wide receiver.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported on Friday that former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace would be interested in a return to Pittsburgh if and when the Miami Dolphins cut him loose in the upcoming days.
Wallace might have a hard time getting half of his current average salary per season on the open market and I continue to hear he’s interested in a return to Pittsburgh, though it remains to be seen how the Steelers feel about that.
The Dolphins have actively been shopping Wallace around the league and to date there has been no interest amongst the other 31 teams in the league.
A lot of the negative interest in Wallace is due to the fact that his base salary will be about $10 million next season, which is the third year of a five-year deal that he signed in 2013 to bolt Pittsburgh for Miami.
Wallace has also been on record of saying that he is not willing to re-work his contract and with three years and $32.9 million remaining on that deal, the Dolphins won’t even get a sixth or seventh round pick for a guy who was once a Pro Bowl receiver with the Steelers.
If the Dolphins are going to cut Wallace, they will likely do it before a $3 million guarantee of his 2015 salary goes into effect on the fifth day of the NFL year. The league year begins March 10 so if Miami is going to cut Wallace, they will do so by March 15.
Now as for that return to Pittsburgh?
No chance. Not going to happen.
I have no problems with Wallace taking the money and running. If a team was willing to throw him five years and $60 million, he would have been foolish not to take it.
But here’s the problems with big contracts. If you aren’t producing at a level that is equal or greater than the dollar figure then you become a liability.
That’s the case with Wallace.
Since he had his two biggest NFL seasons in a Steelers uniform in 2010 and 2011, Wallace has been pretty a pretty solid NFL receiver. After a lackluster 2012 campaign in Pittsburgh Wallace has been good for Miami. He set a career high with 73 catches in 2013 and found the end zone 10 times last season.
Here’s the thing though. Good receivers don’t get mega contracts, great ones do.
Wallace showed flashes of potentially being great 2010-11 and got paid for it.
He still has a skill set that teams around the league, including the Steelers, will like. But even though Wallace will come at a discount this time around, Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert needs to just laugh if his phone rings.
Truth be told, a year ago this situation would have been appealing to me, but not now.
Colbert looks very smart for giving Antonio Brown a $42 million contract after just his second year.
And with Wallace in Miami, all this Steelers offense did a season ago was shatter franchise records in terms of production.
No. The Steelers do not need Wallace to return.
That’s especially true with the emergence of rookie Martavis Bryant a season ago as Bryant filled the role that Wallace once held here in Pittsburgh.
I like the Steelers depth at the receiver position with Brown, Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
While they do need to add another option in the slot in the offseason, that guy isn’t Wallace.
It’s been far too long since this organization has won a playoff game.
Adding a guy like Wallace doesn’t help change that.
At the end of the day Wallace is smart to push the Steelers for a return.
The Steelers need to be smarter and not listen.
Photo Credit: Associated Press