- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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It sure looks like the Steelers' odds of keeping restricted free agent Mike Wallace increased when the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots both added more wide receivers over the weekend.
But Sports Illustrated's Peter King pointed out that Wallace could still be a possibility for the 49ers, although he did describe it as "a longshot." According to King, San Francisco would consider Wallace if quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Alex Smith both sign elsewhere.
As a result, the 49ers would save $8 million per season by going with a young quarterback but they would be desperate in the passing game. King believes this would lead San Francisco to consider making an offer to Wallace and giving up the 30th overall pick for the deep threat. The Steelers have the chance to match any offer because Wallace is a restricted free agent.
I just don't see the 49ers making a play for Wallace after they signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to team with Michael Crabtree. The team I would watch is the Denver Broncos, especially if they land Manning.
The Broncos have an emerging playmaker in Demaryius Thomas if he stays healthy. The only other receiver who caught more than 20 passes was Eric Decker. Yes, Tim Tebow didn't help the passing game but Decker is far from being Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon. If the Broncos lure Manning to Denver, I could potentially see the Broncos giving up the 25th overall pick for Wallace.