Source: Mike Wallace doesn't report

Updated: July 26, 2012, 11:22 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Talks between the Pittsburgh Steelers and unsigned restricted free agent Mike Wallace have broken off, and the Steelers don't plan to talk contract until the wide receiver reports to camp, a source told ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton on Wednesday.

The sides exchanged proposals Monday without resolution.

On Tuesday, according to the source, contact between the sides was minimal as they hoped a break in the talks would create a fresh chance of resolution. But with Wallace not reporting for the start of Steelers camp Wednesday afternoon, Pittsburgh isn't planning to do much more in trying to resolve the dispute, the source said.

The Steelers had a Wednesday deadline of 3 p.m. ET to report to training camp. With Wallace not under contract, the team won't have the ability to fine him.

"Obviously, we have a desire for him to be here," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We want him to be part of this thing, both short term and long term. We've been in negotiations with him. He's not here today. That's unfortunate for him."

Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis was a high school teammate of Wallace's, and the two worked out "every day" over the summer along with other players in the New Orleans area.

Lewis proclaimed Wallace "in the best shape he's ever been in," and predicted he would eventually arrive at camp.

"I'm pretty sure he'll be here," Lewis said. "He's a football player, he loves playing the game. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to sit out."

Wallace skipped all of the team's offseason workouts and has not signed his $2.7 million first-round tender. The Steelers have the franchise tag available after the season if Wallace plays out this year under the one-year restricted tender.

Wallace
Wallace

"I want the player here," Tomlin said. "One thing experience has taught me is this is bigger than all of us. It's bigger than Mike, it's bigger than me. So I mean that when I say it's unfortunate for him that he's not here."

General manager Kevin Colbert reiterated last month the speedy Wallace remains in the team's future plans.

"Our intention has always been to sign Mike to a long-term contract," Colbert said.

Steelers team president Art Rooney II also has said the team wants to sign Wallace to a multiyear contract.

Wallace caught 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight passing touchdowns last season, all team highs. In three seasons, he has 171 catches for 3,206 yards and 24 TDs.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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