If you drafted Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace on your fantasy football team this season, you most likely did so with the intent for him to be your No. 1 or No. 2 receiver. But while you may be hoping that playing for a contract will motivate Wallace to have a career year, it may not go as you had planned.
We saw last season that Philadelphia Eagles WR Desean Jackson was unhappy about his contract status. It showed during practice. It was clear during interviews. Ultimately, it rolled over to his performance on the field. Simply put, Jackson was not the same player.
After finally signing a long term deal with the Eagles, Jackson actually admitted that he was not really in it last year. He was upset and felt the team disrespected him, so he did not give it his all during every snap. And while I feel it was unwise to publicly admit that, Jackson was being honest.
Wallace just recently reported to Steelers’ camp and missed the entire preseason. He is also very displeased with his one year franchise tag, and he has said he does not know how he will handle the situation.
The Steelers, however, have said that they will absolutely not negotiate with Wallace during the season, meaning he will play this entire season under franchise tag guidelines and will not get a new deal before the end of this season. Granted, Pittsburgh could still sign Wallace to a long term deal after this season, or they could pay him roughly $10 million if they decide to slap him with the franchise tag again next season.
But considering that Antonio Brown got a big extension already, and that he already proved that he was Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to playmaker down the stretch last season, this could be the final year with the Steelers for Wallace.
With that being said, Wallace will go one of two ways.
He could be so motivated to prove that he is one of the best wide receivers in the game, that he could go out and show that he is worthy of getting a big contract. Wallace could use his contract status as fuel to show the Steelers that if they do not give him the big bucks, that they will be making a mistake.
Then again, Wallace could sit around and sulk all season long and have a disappointing campaign like Jackson did last year.
Fantasy owners consider yourself warned. This could go either way.