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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So much for Wallace not getting paid

Mike Wallace cashed in as a free agent Tuesday, signing a five-year $65-deal with the Miami Dolphins.

The signing makes him the third-highest paid receiver in the league behind Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Detroit's Calvin Johnson.

So much for the "Wallace is hurting himself in free agency" crowd.

Spare me the discussion of whether or not you feel Wallace is worth that kind of money. Fact of the matter is, right or wrong, the Dolphins felt he is.

@ The Steelers made a couple of moves of their own Tuesday, signing linebacker Larry Foote to a three-year deal and wide receiver Plaxico Burress to a one-year contract.

Both were solid moves.

If Sean Spence recovers and wins a starting job, Foote gives the Steelers a solid backup at both inside positions at a minimal cost.

If Spence doesn't recover from his preseason knee injury, Foote can help hold down the position while the Steelers groom another player to move into that slot.

Burress' signing at the veteran minimum also gives the Steelers options at the WR position without Wallace.

He showed me enough in his late tryout last season to know that he still has something left in the tank. After all, the 6-5 Burress was never a speed demon. His game was built around using his 230-pound frame to beat corners.

He's also a player that the younger players on this team respect. Burress is much more mature now than he was earlier in his career - prison will do that to a man.

@ The moves to sign Burress and Foote were made after the Steelers restructured linebacker LaMarr Woodley's contract, freeing up $4 million in cap space.

With that restructure and the signings of Burress and Foote, the Steelers currently have $4.7 million in cap space.

@ The Steelers will reportedly entertain free agent quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and linebacker Moise Fokou on Wednesday.

All Steelers fans pretty much know Gradkowski's story by now. But he's spent the past two years backing up Andy Dalton in Cincinnati.

Fokou, 6-1, 237, is a cover linebacker who spent last season in Indianapolis, starting one game. He spent the previous three years in Philadelphia, making 22 starts.


Eric T said...

Dale, with the amount of veteran CBs on the market now, is there a greater chance K. Lewis resigning? or has that shipped sailed?

Regarding Wallace: Happy he got paid, but I'll be sad not to see him in the black & gold next year.

Dale Lolley said...

Don't think it has sailed, but they only have $4.7 in cap space right now. They would have to start cutting guys to free up more space.

So you have to ask yourself, would you rather have, say, Brett Keisel or Lewis?

And no, they're not going to cut Ike.

Conflicted Football Fan said...

Is it wrong for a lifetime Steelers fan to like the Ravens if they sign James Harrison?

Anonymous said...

The Ravens could cure cancer and I still wouldn't like em.

Viktor said...

After looking at all the DBs on the market right now I think Lewis better sign soon to a 1-2 yr contract to prove he is elite not a system DB. He is probably looking for a 4-5 yr contract and I highly doubt it's going to happen.

Wallace did what is best for Wallace and I do not blame him one bit; congrats on the contract.

Steelers need a stud DL man in the draft! Would the Steelers take Lotulelei if he drops due to his heart issues?

Dale Lolley said...

Lotuleli was overrated before the heart condition. Don't like him at all.

And after seeing both McFadden and Gay cut one year into short deals, you can bet Lewis isn't taking one. Somebody will sign him. The FA period is all of a few hours hold.

Patrick said...

I'd rather have Brown at his contract then Wallace at his.

And clearly the Steelers couldn't carry large cap numbers for both. The only difference would have been Wallace at the deal offered last summer and Brown now restricted, but Wallace went for the gold and struck rich.

Heres hoping Brown steadily improves.

marc said...

good for wallace, dumb for dolphins. 3rd highest paid WR in the league? enough said.

for the most part it seems the steelers are protecting themselves right now. covering all their bases so their hands won't be tied going into the draft. same process year in and year out.

Anonymous Brian said...

I think K. Lewis had a better year than Ike and is younger. Also when they do a slow-mo replay he looks like he leaps pretty high, which looks cool, which is very important.

Seriously though, you can say Lewis had only one good year, but that's more than you can say about Cortez as a starter. Why not keep both young guys? Not that it'll happen, I know.

(I've always thought that Ike is underrated by non-Steeler fans and overrated by Steeler fans.)

Sorry for the scribbling over something that won't happen.

kyle said...

Apologies to Patrick and marc but I found this while looking for something else:

" Patrick said...
Mike Wallace was an incredible draft pick. That guy is playing so far beyond what one would expect from a rookie WR, especially one taken in the 3rd Rd. His route on the TD was perfect and the ESPN squiggley thing showed it nicely, but still didn't do it justice. That is a veteran play. "

" marc said...
imo, wallace might be the piece that can put this offense over the top. his speed appears to be causing major matchup problems for other teams not to mention he is clearly a quick learner."

I'm really not trying to be a dick but those two comments were in the same thread. I couldn't not. Sorry.

Dale Lolley said...

In an ideal world, they'd keep Lewis to replace Ike in a couple of years. But it's not an ideal world and they love Ike's leadership.

Ike is also the kind of guy, with the shape he keeps himself in, who could play well into his mid-30s.

marc said...

i'll eat crow and not complain about it. that's what i get for agreeing with patrick!

however, i'm willing to bet that was sometime during is first season and a half. at that point, he was outstanding. but since then, when needed to face double teams and greater responsibility for more types of routes i feel he has fallen short. not to mention a drop in attitude.

for the record, it was still a great draft pick and he did end up getting his money, so good for him.

now, kyle, could you please tell me how you look up old threads...i've got some time on my hands...

Patrick said...

are you sure that wasn't a fake Patrick, it literally doesn't sound like language I would use

at the same time, I admit to being excited about him as a rookie, who wasn't?

I still don't think I wrote that, again just for the way it sounds. But I won't deny being excited about him. He was an incredible draft pick in the 3rd, still is. His effort was questionable at times this past season as was his consistency, which go hand in hand.

kyle said...

I don't think you can search threads. You can search Dale's blog posts and that's what I was doing and I happened to check the comments.

And yes, that was during Wallace's rookie season when he was playing better than any Steelers rookie wideout in like 20 years. I don't think you guys were wrong then and I don't think you're wrong now. The Dolphins are overpaying. I just think you were wrong last year when you said he wouldn't get overpaid. There's a reason you can be a track guy and get invited to the combine even though you're a super raw receiver.

Pistol said...


Any news on Connor??? Are they still interested after signing Foote back??

Dale Lolley said...

They're kicking the tires on linebackers. Still short at the position with the loss of Harrison and Brandon Johnson, even with bringing Foote back.
But at this point, they could use a combo guy, somebody who could play inside or out.

Pistol said...

I think he would be a great fit and would be great competition in camp. Also, do you think Eifert is a possibility at 17??

Anonymous said...

Do we receive any compensatory draft picks for losing Wallace or Lewis?

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see them taking a tight end this year in the first. Miller still has several years left.

They will get comp picks next year for these signings.

Steve-O said...

Today's signings were good for depth but really don't raise the level of play from last year. The Steelers get better through the draft, which unfortunately for us fans it makes free agency nothing more than a minor distraction.

So with that in mind I'm looking for some skill players that can contribute early. Cordarelle Patterson, Eddie Lacy, Jarvis Jones, Tavon Austin, Kenny Vacarro, or Damontre Moore would be nice in the 1st/2nd round.

marc said...

by the way, how about the ravens losing kruger AND ellerbe...that was nice to see.

Lance said...

I know there has been a lot of doom and gloom lately, but I think we are ok, and I like the moves thus far. Would I like to keep Lewis, sure. Did we all know Wallace was gone and going to get paid, sure. I do not think he is worth that kind of money, but I am not surprised he got it. Time will tell if he is worth it, but I would be highly surprised if he does much in Miami, like I said, we will see.
Signing foster was a good, cap friendly move, his durability is greater than Colon's that was a no brainer.
Larry foote is a serviceable LB who knows the system, I hope we goom Spence or another, but I am ok with Foote here as a worst case scenario.
Gay is good insurance for the nickle.
Dwyer can bne better and seems to have the right mindset, we will see, I am sure we will adress this position in the draft.

This is a typical Steelers free agency, there will be some low key signings and we have some players that we will get to see earn their money, like Worilds, will he step up? We will see. No need to panic yet, with a healthy Ben and an improved OL, we will be in every game and win most IMO. Our D will be top 5 still. I see the D slipping a little, but not much, and I see the O being better. Good insight as always, Dale.

Anonymous said...

Dale -

Why does it seem all Steelers reporters are writing as if losing Keenan Lewis is a forgone conclusion?

In the ambiguous world of contract restructuring, it seems to me that they could restructure any existing contract to free up a million here and a million there until they have enough room to resign him.

It just seems so pointless to draft someone, have him develop into the quality, valuable starter you'd hoped for, and then immediately let him leave without even making an attempt to resign.

Any insight would be helpful. I think Lewis is very valuable to this particular team.

Anonymous said...

Dale -

Why does it seem all Steelers reporters are writing as if losing Keenan Lewis is a forgone conclusion?

In the ambiguous world of contract restructuring, it seems to me that they could restructure any existing contract to free up a million here and a million there until they have enough room to resign him.

It just seems so pointless to draft someone, have him develop into the quality, valuable starter you'd hoped for, and then immediately let him leave without even making an attempt to resign.

Any insight would be helpful. I think Lewis is very valuable to this particular team.

marc said...

this is very interesting for lewis. the cornerback market got crowded very quickly. add to that he has only really had 1 good year and that did not include the propensity for turnovers (a highly sought after attribute).

therefore, at what point is what another team offers him not that much more than he would get with the steelers? but, staying with the steelers does not necessarily guarantee him a starting job with allen pushing for the #2 spot.

i think lewis is in a jam here from a negotiation standpoint which will depress is value on the open market. the steelers chances of keeping lewis are probably better now than they were a couple weeks ago. if they want to keep him, of course.

Eric T said...

Steelers should remain patient with Lewis and try to get him on a multi year deal that is economical, like they are doing. If they lose out, they have enough depth to be ok, plus as was mentioned, there are a lot of vet CBs who will be looking for a place to go on the cheap.

Tom said...

Today an ESPN article announced sources claiming the Steelers have signed Bruce Gradkowski as backup QB; this article also cited sources that claimed Steelers will release G Willie Colon. Any chance this occurs before June 1st?... Or is this the typical Steelers being straightforward with their veterans & allowing them to prepare for life after black & gold?

Also, I am wondering if there's any loopholes in the cap process that would allow us to use that potential $5 mil coming off the cap to give Keenan Lewis right now? After signing the draft picks we should be somewhere around $6 million under the cap, is that enough to get something done with Lewis is what remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

that Wallace signing should net us a 3rd rd pick in 2014

Anonymous said...

Anybody know if Spaeth inproved as a blocker with the bears? He was just released, and with the way the steelers like bringing back their vets it wouldn't surprise me if he's the one they bring

we need much help, after all, with Heath's injury. Spaeth improved a bit in his last year here, even if he wasnt' that good the previous years

Anonymous said...

hmmm lewis visiting NOLA

perhaps he'll give them a hometown discount to be close to home. But the saints have cap issues too....

Anonymous said...

According to this Spaeth did improve very much:

Anonymous said...

There's no way Lewis could make a penny more with the Saints than he could make in Pitt.

Anonymous said...

Waste of Spaeth.