INDIANAPOLIS — Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert assertively answered a reporter’s question Thursday about the “dilemma” surrounding restricted free-agent WR Mike Wallace.
“Having a great player like Mike Wallace is not a dilemma,” Colbert said.
No, it’s not, but Wallace’s status with the Steelers certainly is in limbo, given the team’s projected salary-cap woes and the receiver’s recent admission that he’d consider the 49ers and Patriots in free agency.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that Mike Wallace remains a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I think that’s Mike’s belief as well,” Colbert said. “Usually when you’ve got two parties who share the same goal, it’s easier to achieve that goal.”
Colbert didn’t rule out the possibility of using the franchise tag on Wallace. Colbert also said he’s “pretty sure” the team will protect Wallace with a first-round tender. Everything just hinges on what the final salary-cap number will be.
“The thing I can say for sure about Mike is that we want Mike to finish his career with the Steelers,” Colbert said. “And I’m very confident that Mike wants to finish his career with the Steelers and play with a great quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger and the other receivers we have to compliment him. We think he’s only scratched the surface in what he can do. There’s a lot left there that still could be developed.”
— Simon Samano