Mike Wallace will not be walking through the Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp door anytime soon. That's what I take from these comments from Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, who says the Steelers and Mike Wallace aren't even in contact.
Colbert was recently on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. Here's what he shared about Wallace, via Sports Radio Interviews:
"Yeah, there's really no contact. Mike knows where things stand. The next step for him really is to report and to sign his tender, and until that happens, there won't be anything else. And if that happens, nobody knows where it will go from there. So that's where it is and has been, and hopefully it comes to an end sooner rather than later because it will be good for us, but it will also be good for Mike."
"Mike" evidently disagrees, because he hasn't shown up, and doesn't appear to have any intention of signing that tender. The Steelers, as Colbert makes clear, have no intention of giving Wallace the deal he wants. In fact, they gave the contract they originally offered to Wallace to Antonio Brown, instead.
That leaves a hole at wide receiver, and might that mean that the Steelers would look in the direction of free agent Plaxico Burress?
Tuesday morning, that was on the mind of Ed Bouchette, the intrepid Steelers reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He tweeted this:
Plaxico Burress has a big back tax bill. He is unemployed. The #Steelers need a wide receiver to replace Mike Wallace. I'm told Burress wants "too much money" but something has to give and it doesnt look as though Wallace will give in any time soon.
Plax's tax bill was reported Monday by TMZ. He apparently owes the government over $59,000 in back taxes. A veteran's minimum contract would easily cover that, and I'm a little taken aback that Plaxico thinks someone's going to give him anything more than that. Plaxico holding out for a big contract seems only slightly less absurd than Cousin Eddie holding out for a management position.
Even at the veteran's minimum, it's hard to see the Steelers doing this. Plaxico isn't a replacement for Mike Wallace, because Wallace and Burress have about polar opposite skill sets. What is it that Mike Wallace does that Plaxico Burress can replace?
Burress in addition to Wallace makes a little bit of sense (though it still seems a very un-Steeler thing to do), but as a replacement, it makes none. Red zone help is one thing; taking playing time away from Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown or even Toney Clemons is quite another. The Steelers have always been more of a "let's go with what we have" kind of operation.
Burress back in the black and gold would be interesting, but I won't believe it until I see it.
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