The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing severe salary cap issues as they prepare to enter the free agency frenzy of the 2012 NFL offseason. They have many aging players with bad contracts, and it will be awfully difficult for them to clear enough cap space while moving forward to bring in some key impact players. Unfortunately, some of their past bad signings may force them to lose restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has arguably been the team’s best offensive weapon over the past two seasons.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told sources that due to the team’s extreme financial constraints, they would not be re-signing any of their own free agents before they can hit the open market on March 13, including Wallace. If Pittsburgh slapped Wallace with the franchise tag, it would cost the team $13.7 million for Wallace with the tag, as well as counting roughly $9 million against the salary cap in 2012. While many say that the Steelers cannot afford to lose Wallace to another team, they may find it almost impossible to find a way to afford to keep him in black and gold going forward.
Even after restructuring a few deals of current players under contract, Pittsburgh is still approximately $10 million over the cap. While they will continue to try and rework a few more deasl from now until when free agency begins, it may not be enough to keep Wallace. They have until March 3 to apply the franchise tag to Wallace.