Schefter notes that the Steelers are roughly $11 million over the salary cap despite making cuts and renegotiating numerous players contracts so far.
In the past, the highest tender for a restricted free agent required a team to give up both a first and third-round pick to sign him but the new CBA eliminated the third-round pick requirement. On top of that, the league closed the “Poison pill” loophole which prevents team’s from offering restricted free agents creative deals that controlling, Pittsburgh in this case, cannot match.
The Steelers are very vulnerable in this situation as their limited cap space, paired with the amount of interest in Wallace, could lead to some serious offers from interested team’s despite the fact that they would have to give up a first-rounder to do so. It may not make sense for someone like the Rams or Jaguars to part with a top ten pick for Wallace but what about a team like the 49ers who have the #30 pick in this years draft. They’ve already said that finding a wide receiver is at the top of their list and assuming that they’ll be able to draft someone as good as Wallace at #30 seems like a longshot.
Even after a recent spate of renegotiations, the Steelers are still roughly $11 million over the salary cap, leaving them in a vulnerable position with their No. 1 wideout. “Poison pill” offers were banned under the new CBA, but it wouldn’t take a poison pill deal to lure a player away from a team as far over the cap as the Steelers are, just someone willing to make a fair offer and surrender a first-round pick. One team that could be in position to make a play for Wallace is Baltimore. The Ravens are still searching for a true No. 1 receiver, and surrendering their No. 29 overall pick would be well worth it if it meant landing Wallace.