Ed Bouchette reported today that Mike Wallace would not be reporting to camp on time. He is now also reporting that the Steelers may be planning to cut off talks with Wallace. This is a sign of bad news. It seemed as if sides were getting better and it was expected that Wallace would sign his tender and come to camp out of good faith and the two sides would continue negotiating.
After not arriving at camp today apparently the Steelers will be taking a different approach. They will cut off talks and let Wallace decide what he wants to do. The ball is now in Wallace’s court. If he does not show up to camp and sign his RFA Tender of $2.74 million then the Steelers will not negotiate. The Steelers do not negotiate during the regular season either so if Wallace does not get to camp soon he will not receive a long term deal.
The more reports you see out there the more you think Wallace is just being given bad advice. From the reports of Larry Fitzgerald money to now not reporting to camp. Whoever is telling Wallace what to do is just hurting him right now. The longer Wallace is out of camp the less chance there is of him getting a deal.
Ike Taylor explained it best when he let Wallace know that this is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They do not negotiate on your terms. They do it on theirs. You have to choose. Taylor told Wallace, “Football does not need you: you need football.”
All in all I still think Wallace will report before the start of the season and will play out this year and then try this again next season. Where he will have no leverage again because the Steelers can place the franchise tag on him. Wallace is doing the only thing he can do right now which is hold out. The Steelers just decided to use their leverage now as well.
Its a staring contest. The Steelers will not blink. This is now in Wallace’s hands.