The Pittsburgh Steelers are still interested in locking up receiver Mike Wallace with a long-term deal, team president Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in a report published Friday.
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"The sooner the better, as far as we're concerned, but there's two parties to it," Rooney said with regards to reaching an agreement with Wallace. "We'll have to see what we agree on so I don't want to put any particular time frame on it or restrictions on it because these things take time and I wouldn't want to box myself in on it."
The Steelerstendered an offer to Wallace, a restricted free agent, in March. Another team can give Wallace a deal, but that team will have to surrender its first-round pick to Pittsburgh, which also has the right to match whatever he is offered.
Wallace stands to make $2.74 million from the tendered offer, according to the newspaper. The 25-year-old Wallace has 3,206 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns in three seasons, and averages 18.7 yards per catch. He made the Pro Bowl after hauling in 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Following this season, he can become an unrestricted free agent.
On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reported that Wallace drew interest from the San Francisco 49ers, citing a source. However, they and other interested teams were dissuaded when they learned that Wallace is seeking a richer deal than the one that will pay Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald $120 million over eight years.
In February, Wallace said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he would "most definitely" be interested in the possibility of playing for the 49ers or New England Patriots.
The Steelers are between $6 million and $8 million under the salary cap, according to the Tribune-Review, which could prevent them from getting something done with Wallace.
"There's certainly more to come in terms of putting all of the pieces together on this team," Rooney said. "I think we're comfortable where we are and looking forward to the draft."