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Friday, March 23, 2012
Steelers say they want Wallace long-term

By Jamison Hensley

The following should not come as a surprise: The Steelers still want to keep wide receiver Mike Wallace long-term.

Wallace
Wallace
Team president Art Rooney II reaffirmed his desire to sign the NFL's top restricted free agent to a multi-year contract to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday. Well, Rooney needs to get in an increasing long line that wants Wallace to stay in Black and Gold.

General manager Kevin Colbert said last month that he wants Wallace to finish his career in Pittsburgh. Wide receiver Hines Ward urged Wallace to stay with the Steelers during his retirement press conference. And quarterback Ben Roethlisberger begged over the radio for Wallace to stay with the Steelers.

It seems like it's not a matter of if it will get done but when it will get done.

"The sooner the better as far as we're concerned but there's two parties to it," Rooney told the Tribune-Review. "We'll have to see what we agree on so I don't want to put any particular time frame on it or restrictions on it because these things take time and I wouldn't want to box myself in on it."

The biggest obstacle to a deal getting done is Wallace's contract demands -- which have reportedly scared interested teams away from him in free agency -- and the Steelers' salary-cap space. Pittsburgh is reportedly $6 million to $8 million under the cap. Next on the list to get restructured are linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu.

"It's something you have to adjust as time goes on but I think we feel like we are where we need to be at this point," Rooney said of the Steelers' salary cap situation. "Probably more decisions are going to have to be made this offseason and some contract decisions are going to have to be made. There's certainly more to come in terms of putting all of the pieces together on this team. I think we're comfortable where we are and looking forward to the draft."