49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 21, 2012
The 49ers inquired about Mike Wallace but ...

wallace.jpg

Good news for all the 49ers fans clamoring for wide receiver Mike Wallace. The 49ers did indeed make an inquiry about the Steelers restricted free agent during the opening week of free agency. But they and the other teams that asked about Wallace were told the receiver was looking for a lot of money.

How much? A league source said that Wallace, 25, wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed last year with the Cardinals. Combine that with the first-round pick any team that signs Wallace to an offer sheet would lose if the Steelers didn't match the offer, and you start to understand why we've heard so little about Wallace in the last week and a half.

That, of course, could change. Teams have another month to sign restricted free agents. But at that price, the 49ers aren't interested, and it's hard to imagine the Patriots, Bengals and Ravens paying that either.

Wallace ranked 11th in receiving yards last season with 1,193 yards, and he scored eight touchdowns. Fitzgerald ranked fourth with 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns. The Steelers placed a first-round tender worth $2.74 million on Wallace. If Wallace signs it, he'll become an unrestricted free agent next season and all 32 teams will be able to bid on him without the fear of losing a draft pick.

Maybe that's his strategy. Calls to Wallace's agent last week and this week have not been returned.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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