Art Rooney II on Mike Wallace: “He should be here.”
The Mike Wallace ordeal has been the talk and focus of the Pittsburgh Steelers off-season thus far. From Wallace asking for outrageous money from teams interested in him as a free agent, to his walk of shame back to the ‘Burgh after no teams would pony up that kind of dough, #17 has been the talk of the town.
The date to watch is June 15th, as that is the deadline for Wallace to sign his one year, $2.7 million tender before the Steelers get the option to lower his one year salary to $577,500. Wallace has yet to attend Pittsburgh’s three day mini-camp this week, and Steelers president Art Rooney II had four simple words for the speedy wideout:
“He should be here.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin also had some words about the situation, and it’s a view those in the Steelers front office have shared since the Wallace situation became a cause for concern:
“It’s probably short-term misery. Hopefully there will be some closure to this and it will be in our rear view mirror. Right now, he’d be better served if he were here working.”
Wallace is seeking a long-term contract, justifiably so. He has been one of the more explosive and productive receivers in the league in his three year tenure, and while he certainly does not deserve the Larry Fitzgerald money he was seeking in free agency, I don’t blame him for wanting to secure his financial future while his stock is high.
Pittsburgh has never been an organization that succumbs to the demands of players, but I’d say if there was ever a time to negotiate, this would be it. Mike Wallace has a very high ceiling and is a key component to their offense. Here’s to hoping they can find a way to sign him and a deal that is fair to both parties can be reached.