PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 06: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the game on November 6, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
How does Mike Wallace opposite of A.J. Green sound? It sounds like a lot of worried defensive backs to me. ESPN''s Adam Schefter is reporting that Mike Wallace, who is a restricted free agent, may be pursued by the Bengals. In order to obtain Wallace, the Bengals would have to sign him and an offer sheet and hope that Pittsburgh declines to match it. The Bengals would also have to surrender a first round pick in this year's draft.
This appears to be a win-win situation for the Bengals. Schefter says that the Bengals are 60 million under the cap, while the Steelers are about 11 million over the cap. If the Steelers refused to sign the offer sheet, they would be losing their best playmaker and quite possibly a top five receiver in the NFL. If Pittsburgh decided that he is worth too much to give up, they would be forced to cut players in order to not go over the salary cap.
Schefter explained on NFL Live what the Bengals could do, he said that the Bengals would need to sign Wallace to an offer sheet that says that he would get roughly 20 million dollars in a roster bonus. A roster bonus is different than a signing bonus, in that a roster bonus counts against the salary cap this coming season. Schefter goes on to say that if Pittsburgh matched that offer, they would get to keep Wallace but would be so strapped for cap space that they would need to cut some players.
The Bengals could do some serious damage here. Prior to Schefter mentioning this possibility, I had not thought of Wallace leaving the Steelers. In a tweet last night, Schefter said that the chances of Wallace leaving is about 50/50. The Bengals will have some competition for his services, including the New England Patriots. With the Bengals being 60 million under the cap, they can essentially add any player that they wish to add as long as the player wants to be in Cincinnati.
As mentioned earlier, this is a win-win situation for Cincinnati. As long as the Bengals make the move to sign Wallace to an offer sheet, they will be hurting the Steelers. So, what would you do? Is giving up a first round pick worth getting a division rival's best play-maker? Last season the 25 year old Wallace caught 72 balls for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns.Ladies and gentlemen, an exciting off-season just got a lot more exciting.