The Steelers are keeping their fingers crossed they can retain Mike Wallace.
Pittsburgh tendered an offer to the restricted free-agent wide receiver on Tuesday. General manager Kevin Colbert has said the team will do its best to retain Wallace, but it could find itself in a difficult spot if another team swoops in and offers Wallace a big deal.
The Steelers entered free agency just $1.8 million below the cap, meaning they are limited in how much they can compete for Wallace’s services.
The Ravens thought internally about making a run at the receiver, but are not prepared to do it. The Patriots and Bengals could also make a play.
Because he is a restricted free agent, the Steelers would likely receive a first-round draft pick as compensation if Wallace signed elsewhere.
Pittsburgh feels like it will survive this with their fastest receiver still in house, but it’s only a band-aid. Fellow wideouts Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will be in the same position as Wallace a year from now.
The Steelers are going to need to get creative to keep Ben Roethlisberger’s targets in the picture.
Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.