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-King- 03-22-2012 08:04 AM

Mike Wallace wants more money than Larry Fitzgerald

Report: Mike Wallace told 49ers he wants more than Larry Fitzgerald

Posted by Michael David Smith on March 22, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT

Mike Wallace is the best free agent available right now, but it appears that he’s going to need to lower his asking price significantly if he wants to do anything other than play for the Steelers on the one-year restricted free agent tender this season.

That’s the word out of San Francisco, where the 49ers had interest in signing Wallace until they found out how much money he wanted. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Wallace wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed with the Cardinals.

If that’s what Wallace is going to demand of every team that shows interest, it’s hard to see any team signing him to an offer sheet, which would also require the team to give the Steelers a first-round draft pick if the Steelers choose not to match. (And the Steelers surely would choose not to match an offer sheet that gave Wallace more money than Fitzgerald.)

Wallace may end up deciding that unless some team offers him a monster contract, he’s better off staying in Pittsburgh on the one-year, $2.74 million restricted free agent tender and then becoming an unrestricted free agent next year — especially considering that the Steelers might not franchise him because Antonio Brown, last year’s team MVP, is set to become an unrestricted free agent next year, too.

As great a deep threat as Wallace is, he’s not as productive a receiver as Fitzgerald: Wallace’s career high in catches was 72 last year; Fitzgerald has had seasons of 80, 90, 96, 97, 100 and 103 catches. Wallace’s career high in yards was 1,257 two years ago; Fitzgerald has had four seasons of more than 1,400 yards. It’s not realistic to think Wallace will get more money than Fitzgerald. At least, not unless he has a great 2012 and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2013.

Bwana 03-22-2012 08:08 AM

Yeaaaaah, best of luck with that.

58-4ever 03-22-2012 08:09 AM

Noooooooot going to happen.

Chiefnj2 03-22-2012 08:13 AM

Why would the 49ers go public with their discussions and his demands? Seems like a CYA to appease their fan base after not getting Manning and explain why they haven't made more moves.

Dartgod 03-22-2012 08:14 AM

I thought this was a post about 60 Minutes

58-4ever 03-22-2012 08:16 AM


Originally Posted by Chiefnj2 (Post 8482950)
Why would the 49ers go public with their discussions and his demands? Seems like a CYA to appease their fan base after not getting Manning and explain why they haven't made more moves.

They've already upgraded the receiving corps and re-signed their QB. I think the 49ers are fine. I think this was to embarrass Wallace who is making absurd salary demands.

tredadda 03-22-2012 08:17 AM

Well according to some on here he is a Top 5 receiver like Fitz, so maybe he should be paid accordingly. On second thought, no way he is nowhere near the caliber of Fitz nor does he deserve more than him.

Pasta Giant Meatball 03-22-2012 09:04 AM

These guys are delusional.

Sofa King 03-22-2012 09:05 AM

He'd be lucky to get half that.

TheGuardian 03-22-2012 09:07 AM

Mike Wallace.........LOL

A nobody.

mr. tegu 03-22-2012 09:08 AM

All he does is go deep. Not worth nearly that much per year or for eight years. As soon as he loses a step he will be worth have of his value now as it is.

The Franchise 03-22-2012 09:12 AM

He'd be lucky to get a Vincent Jackson type deal.

rageeumr 03-22-2012 09:14 AM

What a coincidence, I would also like more money than Larry Fitzgerald.

the Talking Can 03-22-2012 09:16 AM

good luck with that

Mile High Mania 03-22-2012 09:32 AM

There's no doubt that I'd like to see Denver send their R1 pick to PIT for Wallace, but not at that price.

It's interesting though if you compare the first 3 years for each WR.

39 / 756 / 6
60 / 1257 / 10
72 / 1193 / 8

171 rec / 3206 yds / 24 TD

58 / 780 / 8
103 / 1409 / 10
69 / 946 / 6

230 rec / 3135 yds / 24 TD

They're nearly identical - aside from the huge rec year that Fitz had.

The difference being, Wallace is entering his 4th season while Fitz is entering his 9th season and for the last 5 years, Fitz has been a freak with 4 seasons over 90 receptions each - 3 with more than 1400 yds and he has 49 TDs in that span.

So, Fitz has certainly earned it - don't know if Wallace can be that guy - he is about 3 inches shorter, but if you compare the first 3 years ... one could argue that he's on the right path.

But, 8 years for $120M ... I think not. That averages $15M a year, don't know what bonus he got or the way it's structured.

I'd be fine with going 5 years and $55M - averages about $11M a year, structure the bonus money and guarantees appropriately, and I'm cool with that... I think. Wallace would be 30 when that contract is up and still able to earn that last final big contract should his trajectory continue as it is now.

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