The idea was recently floated that the Steelers could use their franchise tag on restricted free agent Mike Wallace in an attempt to prevent team’s from signing him away but Ed Bouchette sees that as a very unlikely scenario.
Bouchette writes that, “[he’d] be stunned if they used it this year.”
The tag would run the Steelers $9.5 million for the 2012 and considering the serious issues that they’re currently dealing with, it would be very difficult to lock Wallace into a front-loaded contract. In fact, that’s usually why teams re-sign players. They can choose when to have the largest numbers on their cap so in this case, they would back-load the deal and probably offer him a prorated signing bonus similar to what they recently gave LaMarr Woodley when they renegotiated his contract.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned during today’s chat session that he sees Steelers NT Casey Hampton and ILB James Farrior chances of return as being right around the 50 percent mark.
We posted some remarks from Steelers GM Kevin Colbert a little while ago about the teams plan for getting out of their salary cap mess. Basically, Colbert’s plan is to allow all of the team’s unrestricted free agents to hit the open market and try to shed some salary by releasing some players.
Hines Ward‘s name has come in previous weeks but Bouchette’s comments about Hampton and Farrior could be an indication that the team may consider releasing them to increase their available cash.