Mike Wallace is available for a first round pick this year, if a team is willing to sign him to an offer sheet. I talked about his prospects a few weeks ago and what teams should be willing to pay based on historic performance of Wallace vs draft picks used on receivers in the first round. Obviously, Mike Wallace’s demands for a contract would play a role in that. Teams aren’t going to give up a first round pick AND pay him like his is an unrestricted free agent.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco 49ers were one of the teams that inquired of Mike Wallace, and he is reportedly looking to exceed Larry Fitzgerald money (8-year, $50 million guaranteed, $120 million extension).
No chance. Not even close.
We saw the wide receiver market take off this offseason with deals like Pierre Garcon. Those exceeded my estimates for Wallace’ worth, suggesting either the teams are allocating an even greater percentage to inflation of cap over the next few years, overpaying, or both. I estimated a $7 million per year offer for Wallace, considering he is restricted and draft pick compensation is required. Obviously, he is going to get more than that now, as the market has exploded. Just not this year.
So, the good news is that he will be back in Pittsburgh if his demands are anywhere near that. The bad news for Pittsburgh is that he won’t be back in 2013, unless franchised. No team is giving him Larry Fitzgerald money, but someone will blow Pierre Garcon money out of the water.