With less than 2 weeks before the start of the regular season, Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace reported to the Steelers.
Wallace was at the team facility Tuesday morning. A restricted free agent, he had yet to sign his 1-year agreement tender worth approximately $2.7 million.
He also will undergo routine medical exams, but won’t practice with his teammates until the week after next.
The Pittsburgh Steelers conclude their preseason at home against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday and open their regular season Sept. 9 at the Broncos.
Last season, Wallace has 72 receptions for 1,193 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has 24 receiving touchdowns in his 3-season career.
Wallace led the NFL in yards per catch (19.4) as a rookie 3rd-round pick out of Mississippi in 2009. Wallace ranked second in the league (21.0) the following season, when he had a career-high 1,257 yards.
“We definitely understand the business part of things, and we don’t fret about that too much,” receiver Emmanuel Sanders related. “But as far as in the offensive room, we’ve missed his personality and we’ve missed what he brings to the table.
“Everyone’s thrilled that he’s back.” Basketball betting lines
Wallace did not receive any offers from other teams as a restricted free agent this spring. Any team signing him to an offer sheet would’ve had to provide compensation to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Via agent Bus Cook, Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers were negotiating his preferred long-term extension. But the club vowed not to arrange once training camp began if he did not report, so there’s been no contact between the parts since July 25.
The Steelers’ established policy isn’t to negotiate contracts in the regular season, giving the 2 sides less than 2 weeks to iron something out.
Wallace made the Pro Bowl last season, as did fellow starting wide receiver Antonio Brown. Sanders moves from the “X” deep threat receiver back to the slot to create space for Wallace. The Pittsburgh Steelers also have vet Jerricho Cotchery to serve as their No. 4 receiver.
“This group is extremely quick, extremely fast, and I suspect we’ve got the opportunity to be very, very good offensively,” FS Ryan Clark recounted. “I’m excited to get Mike back, but I’m also excited the way these other guys have been working. That’s the only thing we don’t really want to overshadow. These blokes have been working, and that only helps you when you get your No. 1 guy back.
Wallace was given a playbook and was said to be studying up on new offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense. He’s also got been working out with a trainer in Florida.
QB Ben Roethlisberger has expressed confidence that Wallace will be in shape and good to go as soon as he reports to the team.
Adding Wallace along with fellow deep threat Antonio Brown and fast rookie RB Chris Rainey is mean the Pittsburgh Steelers have the fastest core of ability players in the league. Wallace is one of the most exciting and dynamic players in the NFL.