Because the Steelers tendered an offer to restricted free agent Mike Wallace, another team who signs him would have to forfeit a first-round pick to Yinzburgh. Nevertheless, some would argue that even with the loss of a high pick, that’s still a decent bargain for one of the better young receivers in the game just entering his prime. If nothing else, observers have wanted to see another team make an offer to Wallace just to watch the cap space-strapped Steelers scurry to try to match it or let their deep threat walk.

So far, that has yet to happen. It’s been a little mystifying, since there is no shortage of teams that could use his services. That is, until today when it came out that the 49ers reportedly inquired about Wallace during the first week of free agency and were told that the receiver is seeking a deal in the neighborhood of the eight-year, $120 million that Larry Fitzgerald got just before the start of the 2011 season, the richest in football until Megatron’s extension with the Lions was announced this month.


Again, Wallace has been good, but with only two seasons of solid production under his belt it’s a little premature to be asking for f*ck-you money. So this might end up helping the Steelers in the short term by scaring off potential suitors unwilling to pay top dollar and give up a first-rounder for Wallace. But even if the Steelers get Wallace for a relative bargain in 2012, both he and fellow Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown will be free agents after the season, meaning at least one of them is almost certainly gone.

Unless the Steelers can find another half dozen expensive deadweight old veterans to cut by then. And Casey Hampton only counts as one, even if he eats like he’s four.