The deadline for teams to designate their franchise player came and went Monday afternoon. And it came and went without the Pittsburgh Steelers using that tag on wide receiver Mike Wallace. The Steelers now have until March 13 to put a tender worth $2.742 million for the upcoming season, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Even with that tender, Wallace is still a restricted free agent, so teams have until April 20 to sign him to an offer sheet which the Steelers can match. If the Steelers do not match the offer sheet, they would receive a first round draft pick from the team that signed them.
Despite the Steelers being about $15 million under the yet-to-be-announced cap for 2012, the cap is the main reason why Wallace was not given the franchise tag. The Steelers do have an unwritten rule about not negotiating contracts in the middle of a season, so if a deal is not done during the free agency period, Wallace will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season.