Last week, the Ravens locked up their most important restricted free agent, cornerback Lardarius Webb, with a five-year contract extension. Meanwhile, the rival Pittsburgh Steelers are still reportedly experiencing headaches with their marquee restricted free agent, speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Wallace doesn’t plan to sign his restricted free-agent tender and intends to skip the team’s offseason workouts, according to ESPN. He can’t be disciplined for doing so because he isn’t technically under contract. Wallace, who was given a first-round tender as a restricted free agent, is reportedly doing this as a ploy to get the Steelers to give him a lucrative extension -- or trade him to a team that will.
According to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, his agent had attempted to spread the word that teams were lining up to give Wallace an offer sheet, but he was unsuccessful in drumming up interest (as Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome explained earlier in the offseason, teams aren’t willing to give up the “double whammy” of a first-round draft pick and a big contract for a top restricted free agent).
Now Team Wallace is trying to use the threat of a holdout as Plan B.
Knowing the Steelers, they probably aren’t going to budge on this one. They will patiently wait for Wallace to come back to them. But if they are interested in dealing him, The Tribune-Review reports that a handful of teams are interested. You can go ahead and scratch the cap-strapped Ravens off the list, folks. It was previously reported that Wallace wants Larry Fitzgerald money (eight years, $120 million).
Still, one way or another, there is a chance that Wallace might not be in black and yellow this season, which is good news for the Ravens. In five regular-season games against the Ravens in his career, Wallace has hauled in 22 passes for 358 yards and a touchdown. That's 71.6 receiving yards per game.