Thursday, June 14, 2012
No progress in contract talks with Wallace
By Jamison Hensley
There has been "little, if any, movement" in contract negotiations between the Steelers and unsigned restricted free agent Mike Wallace, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
While it appears like team president Art Rooney II is losing some patience with Wallace -- he publicly voiced his displeasure with the No. 1 receiver skipping mandatory minicamp -- coach Mike Tomlin has been careful to distance himself from the contract talks so he can still keep a close relationship with his player.
"Mike and I've talked about our business," Tomlin told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "I'm not a negotiator and neither is he. We've been in fluid communication but it's been more coach-receiver type communication. I'll leave the negotiation to our people who do it for a living."
The offseason drama with Wallace could take another turn on Friday. If Wallace doesn't sign his $2.7 million tender, the Steelers could reduce it to $577,500. While the team isn't expected to do so, no one from the Steelers has said they won't, either.
Asked if the Steelers have talked about cutting Wallace's tender, Tomlin said, "We'll let you guys to continue to talk about that. We'll continue to conduct our business in the manner which we do. We don't negotiate in the media. We just want to be as professional as we can be and I think that is his goal as well."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he expects Wallace to report on time to training camp in late July. Tomlin said he hasn't discussed a timetable with Wallace on when he would return to the team.
"That would be a negotiator stance," Tomlin said. "I've been talking to him about what he needs to continue to do to ready himself. Obviously, he would benefit from being here and I want him here. But he's not. So, we're dealing with it."