Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert met the press for almost an hour on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Here is part 2 of 3 transcripts on his talk, this second of which deals with issues surrounding the status of restricted free agent WR Mike Wallace:
What kind of dilemma are you in with Mike Wallace?
"Having a great player like Mike Wallace is never a dilemma. Once we determine what his tender will be and then we'll know what our compensation will be I'm pretty sure it'll be with a first round pick at minimum. There's always a franchise possibility. But not knowing what our cap situation is until we get a final cap number, I really can't say but we're going to do everything we can to make sure that Mike Wallace remains a Pittsburgh Steeler and I think that's Mike's belief as well. So usually when you have two parties that share the same goal it's usually easier to achieve that goal.
We want Mike to finish his career with the Steelers, and I'm very confident that Mike wants to finish his career with the Steelers and play with a great quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger and the other receivers we have to compliment him. We think we've only scratched the surface in what he can do. There's a lot left there that still can be developed and we're anxious to see it happen as a Steeler."
Do you think with the restructuring you can clear that much cap room if need be to franchise tag someone?
"Is it likely? No. Is it still a possibility, yes. It would take a lot of work, but again not knowing what I'm dealing with, I can't answer it concretely."
Do you think another team would come in and offer a first round pick and a contract to Mike Wallace?
"I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happened. But ultimately, it's our call. We'll just wait and see where things go. Mike's a restricted free agent. If we tender him, he'll have the opportunity to entertain offers but ultimately it's our decision."
Why do you like him so much?
"Because he can run fast and he's hard to cover."
Are you surprised there are so many questions about an RFA?
"No because Mike's a unique RFA. Usually those types of guys are first or second round picks and coming off a four-year deal, and they usually miss the RFA period. So a great player like Mike who developed into a Pro Bowl guy over the last three years, he now is a restricted free agent. It is unusual. And this year the rules are different."
Why do you negotiate three-year contracts?
"I don't know that's just what we do. I mean, some teams extend them even longer, we try do a fair deal for the round in which they're taken."
How many deals do you have to restructure to keep Wallace?
"Until we get that final cap number, we're still guessing as to how much more work we have to do. We've already done some restructuring, we know we're going to have to do more, we know we're going to have to terminate players. We just don't know what combination, or how much restructuring we have left."