There has been some supposition that the Steelers will simply slap the franchise tag on wide receiver Mike Wallace rather than risk losing him as a restricted free agent.
Teams can begin placing the franchise tag on players Feb. 20.
Here are the franchise numbers for 2012:
Quarterback $16.1 million
Running Back $7.7 million
Wide Receiver $9.4 million
Tight End $5.4 million
Offensive Line $9.4 million
Defensive End $10.6 million
Defensive Tackle $7.9 million
Linebacker $8.8 million
Cornerback $10.6 million
Safety $6.2 million
As you can see, the cost to franchise Wallace would be $9.4 million, much too much for the salary cap-strapped Steelers to add to their cap.
But remember, the free agent market at many positions - including wide receiver - is ridiculously deep this year.
In other words, why give up a first-round draft pick to sign Wallace when you can sign DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker, Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe or Marques Colston instead?