The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to replace much of their depth and leadership from a year ago.
Gone are Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Chris Hoke and Hines Ward and their combined eight Super Bowl titles, 12 AFC championships, five All-Pro honors, seven Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl MVP trophy.
And joining that list of ex-Steelers could be Mike Wallace, another player with an appearance in both a Super and Pro bowl. Wallace's all-star year came just a season ago, as he led the Steelers with 72 receptions, almost 1,200 receiving yards, and eight touchdown catches—six more than fellow Pro Bowler Antonio Brown, who was signed to a $42.5-million contract extension through the 2017 season on July 27, this year.
Wallace is in a contract dispute with the Steelers. The star wide receiver is believed to, essentially, want a better deal—more money, more years—and he has yet to report to this year.
Should Wallace join his employer for at least six weeks this year, he'll satisfy his obligation to the team and become eligible for unrestricted free agency following the season. As a free agent, Wallace would make as much money as any team would be willing to spend on him, but he won't get another dime from the Steelers unless he plays this year.
Losing another important member of last year's roster would be a hard pill to swallow for Steelers management, but the team has not caved in and paid Wallace more to play in 2012, not even with its first preseason game slated for tonight, Aug. 9, at 7:30 in Philadelphia.
Indications are that Wallace will not be traded, either, meaning that he might not play in 2012 at all.
It's usually never good from a player's perspective to sit out a season, especially in his prime, but what should Steelers management do in regard to their best interests?
Should Wallace be signed for more money? Traded? Should the Steelers let him sit until he finally shows up?
Vote in our poll above and tell us why you feel the way that you do in the comments section below.