CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Robert Geathers #91 and Gibril Wilson #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals tackle Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during play at Paul Brown Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Now that Ray Rice signed his five-year contract prior to the franchise tag deadline, another high-profile player in the division is making strides towards a contract extension. According to Jason La Canfora with CBSSports.com, Wallace and the Steelers are in "close contact" with each other, making progress towards a new deal. Wallace was only tendered $2.72 million as a restricted free agent.
Rather than placing the franchise tag on him, which would have cost the Steelers $9.515 million, or signing him to a long-term deal, the Steelers risked another team signing him to an offer sheet. Possibly to a deal that would have made it challenging to match considering early offseason salary cap difficulties. All a team would sacrifice is a first-round pick, but it was apparently too much, even for teams starving for wide receivers. There were no offers.
Save for having a disappointed receiver that's hinted at a training camp hold out, the Steelers limited the impact against the salary cap by nearly $7 million while not losing Wallace to another team.