NFL rules prevent Wallace from participating in the team's fourth preseason game, which is undoubtedly the reason why Wallace chose to wait until today.
Wallace has been welcomed with open arms by his teammates, with James Harrison going as far as to stage a faux interview with him in the locker room. Watch for yourself, courtesy of Steelers Gab.
No Long Term Deal in Sight for Wallace
It is great to see Mike Wallace welcomed with open arms by his team mates. Nothing can sink a team's chances like locker room desertion, especially when its over who makes what. See the 1993 Steelers as an example (That's what led to the Steelers policy of not negotiating contracts during the regular season. Click here for the full story.)
Mike Wallace is even saying he wants to be a Steeler for the long term. If he really means that then its a shame, because the likelihood of that happening remains very, very slim.
Steel Curtain Rising claims no special access to inside information here. But its fairly easy to connect the dots from what is known publicly.
- The Steelers are concerned that Mike Wallace's drop off in productivity at the end of last year was based in attitude and not talent
- The Steelers have serious salary cap issues which will continue in 2013
- Antoino Brown already got a good portion of the money the Steelers had earmarked for Wallace
- Neither Mike Tomlin nor Kevin Colbert appear to have been to happy with Mike Wallace's hold out
In July when the hold out was in its infancy, Kevin Colbert went on the record saying in as much as "Where there's a will there's a way" when it came to signing players.
- Take Colbert at his word on that, if the Steelers really want(ed) to sign him, they could have.
Ben Roethlisberger reportedly offered to seek out Wallace and talk him into reporting to camp -- Steelers management declined to take Ben up on his offer -- showing that they're not willing to bend over backwards for Wallace.
But if Mike Wallace really had a will to be a Steelers, then the way to make that happen would have been to report to camp and continue negotiating in good faith. He declined to do that, and will likely have to find out for himself if the grass really is greener some where else.