#246: Feast-to-Famine at Wideout
The Steelers have a bit of a conundrum at wide receiver.
Deep threat Mike Wallace was tendered an offer by the team earlier this week. It wasn't disclosed what the offer was, but since the team made offers to five other restricted free agents, it was probably just a matter of course.
As a restricted free agent, Wallace can test the market and any team can make an offer. However, the Steelers would have the right to match the other team's offer in order to retain his services.
Wallace has made some public comments that he would be more than willing to follow the money should it come his way. If I'm in the Pittsburgh front office, that would concern me for a couple of reasons.
First, it means that there is the potential, should the Steelers retain Wallace by matching an offer, that he may bring a less-than-enthusiastic attitude to the field and the locker room in the seasons to come. We've seen what happens when premiere receivers in the league get disgruntled (e.g. Terrell Owens).
Second, if the Steelers choose to make him an offer to keep him off the roster of, say, the New England Patriots, much of the cap space the team has freed up in recent weeks will be filled again.
That said, should another team other than the Patriots (or another AFC contender) make an offer, especially if that team is in the NFC, Pittsburgh should consider letting Wallace go to avoid the problems mentioned above.
The downside of such inaction, though, would mean that the Steelers will have gone from a wide receiver-rich team to one that could be facing a bit of a dearth in that department. The departure of Hines Ward, the free agency of Jericho Cotchery, and the hypothetical exit of Wallace (even the release of Arnaz Battle), would leave the team with Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders as the likely starters (and a bit undersized), Heath Miller at tight end, and then a patchwork of pass catchers behind them.
If that's how the roster shapes up, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have a harder time spreading the ball around than he's been able to do the last two or three seasons.
On the latest episode:
- Penguins in a 10-game winning streak during critical stretch of the schedule.
- Pitt basketball is in a postseason tournament. Is that good or bad?
- The Power makes amends with all but two of its players after a brief strike.
- Mike sucks at NCAA picks. Surprised?