Bengals Could Make a Play For Mike Wallace
According to NFL.com‘s Michael Lombardi, the Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to be able to match any offer sheet for restricted free agent Mike Wallace that includes a first-year salary cap of $12+ million.
Currently at $10 million under the cap, the Steelers would potentially have to make more moves to get further under in order to keep Wallace, or they could give in and receive a first-round draft pick as compensation from the team that signs him.
Per Lombardi, the division rival Cincinnati Bengals could be a real candidate to steal Wallace from the Steelers. With Jerome Simpson not due back and Jordan Shipley working the slot and coming off of knee surgery, the team is looking for another wide receiver to pair with impressive rookie A.J. Green.
The Bengals are one of those teams that are already $12 million under the cap, and they have the unique luxury of holding two first-round picks – one at the 17th spot (from Oakland), and the other at 22nd overall. If the Bengals made a play for Wallace, they’d surrender their 22nd overall pick, and would still have a pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, as the Bengals are far from the only team that should get involved. However, they’re one of three teams (Browns and Patriots) that hold two first-rounders that would have a lot less to lose than a team with just one.