Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Report: Wallace to report this weekend

By Jamison Hensley

WallaceWatch 2012 apparently is about to end. Wide receiver Mike Wallace will end his holdout and report to the Steelers this weekend, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Wallace
Wallace
In my opinion, he's reporting one week too late. On his current timetable, Wallace will still be able to play in the Sept. 9 season opener. But if he had reported immediately after the Steelers broke camp -- which clearly makes the point that he's unhappy -- Wallace gives him a chance of being more effective in the season opener.

If he shows up and signs his $2.7 million tender Sunday, Wallace has 13 days to get in football shape and up to speed with the playbook before the games really count. I could see Wallace making this sort of play if this was the same system he's played in his entire NFL career.

But this is an entirely new playbook. He should know that because the Steelers gave him one this spring. Preseason has been a feeling-out process for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the entire offense. Even though Wallace's most effective routes are just running past cornerbacks downfield, it will take time for Wallace to adapt to the offense.

Although Wallace's return has been long expected (ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Wallace would be there for the opener), having an arrival date is good news for the Steelers. Wallace could have sat out the first 10 games of the season and still accrued a full season by playing in the final six games of the regular season, which would have made him eligible for unrestricted free agency next offseason.