Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace is ready to end his prolonged summer vacation and rejoin the team, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network. She tweeted this on Monday afternoon:
By the rules of the NFL's labor agreement, Wallace won't be able to practice or play for three days if he shows up and signs his $2.742 million restricted free-agent tender on Tuesday. That means Wallace would miss the Steelers' last preseason game, Thursday night against Carolina.
Wallace had stayed away from the Steelers because of his desire for a long-term contract, which the organization had been slow to give him. While he was away, the Steelers gave wide receiver Antonio Brown a five-year, $42.5 million contract, similar to the one Wallace was seeking.
Wallace caught 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
This comes with the obligatory "preseason means very little" warning, but the Steelers passing game, according to the Steelers themselves, isn't where it should be. New offensive coordinator Todd Haley is installing his offense, and it's been limited by the absence of the team's top deep threat.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has expressed confidence that Wallace will be in shape and ready to go as soon as he reports to the team. For the Steelers' sake, he better be right. Wallace will only have a little over a week to get up to speed before the Steelers' season opener against the Broncos.