Steelers GM Kevin Colbert explains his reasoning for not using the franchise tag on star wide receiver Mike Wallace.
“There is no choice,” said Colbert. “Mike will get a tender that would require a team having to give us a first-round pick if he signs with them and we choose not to match it. We understand there could be offers that come in. Mike is a significant player. Ultimately it’s our decision whether or not we are going to match an offer (that he might get). We still have control over the situation, even though he could get offers from the outside. Ultimately we’ll make the decision whether Mike is going to be a Steeler or not.”
Using the franchise tag on Wallace would have put the Steelers in a tough position with regard to the salary cap, and Colbert notes that doing so would have required the Steelers to continue cutting salaries, as they’ve already had to do many times this offseason. Instead, they’re gambling that no other team will be willing to spend their first-round draft pick on Wallace and be able to sign him to a contract that the Steelers can’t match.
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