News surfaced today that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace will not be signed to the franchise tag by his team. Wallace will instead receive a qualifying tender, which will leave him open to an offer sheet from any competitors looking to snatch him up. If this situation did arise, the Steelers would have the option to either match the contract, or garner a first round pick as compensation. Because of Pittsburgh's current salary cap restrictions (they have about 3 million left under the cap) it is likely they will accept the latter as compensation.
Wherever Wallace signs, it will likely be at a price that is inflated by his potential. Wallace has put up some pretty impressive numbers in his stint with the Steelers, but many people see him as a one trick pony. The guy has elite speed. He's so fast, he makes fast people look not fast. If Wallace can develop the rest of his game he could be a force in a couple of years. But if he can't, he'll just be an expensive sprint specialist. However, there are definitely a few teams who should take a chance on this guy.
Teams like Baltimore and New England could use a guy with Wallace's skill set to help stretch the field, opening up some room for the short passing and running games to flourish. If Wallace could be had for something in around the 4 or 5 million dollar range, it would be ideal for both teams. Its not hard to see Wallace as the piece that could, potentially, put both of these teams over the top. Only time will tell how this story resolves itself. For now, Wallace remains property of the Steelers - however fleeting his time there may be.