ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 06: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers after making a catch during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Another unhappy wide receiver, another subject of trade rumors for the St. Louis Rams. The Pittsburgh Steelers staked out their position loud and clear on Friday when they signed Antonio Brown to a five-year extension worth $42.5 million. It should have made it more than clear that Mike Wallace was probably not coming back to Pittsburgh in 2013.
Wallace received the first-round restricted free agent tender from the Steelers. He is holding out for a long-term extension near the same rate of what Vincent Jackson received in free agency, $55.5 million for five years. The Steelers do not usually play ball when they are being held hostage, just ask Santonio Holmes who they shipped off the Jets.
Now, the inevitable talk of trade is bubbling up around the internet. A high draft pick, say a second-rounder, could be the centerpiece of a deal to snag Wallace. The acquiring team would also have to pont up a long-term contract.
The Rams could certainly use a receiver with Wallace's talent. Brian Quick and Chris Givens are being leaned on as the core of the Rams' receivers this year and beyond, but both players are rookies and would not have the same impact in 2012 as a player like Wallace.
Giving up a second-round pick is pricey for a team like that Rams that has so many needs to fill in the years ahead. On the other hand, the Rams do have two first rounders in 2013 and 2014 which carry plenty of flexibility. It's something to think about.
Ultimately, I predict that Wallace will do something similar to Vincent Jackson in 2010, holdout through Week 10 and show up at the minimal salary to maintain his unrestricted free agent status in 2013. The Steelers could use him down the stretch in a tight AFC North.