According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t place the franchise tag on wide receiver Mike Wallace. They’ll instead place a first round tender on him, since he’s a restricted free agent. This means that if a team wants to sign Wallace, they can make him an offer and the Steelers would then have a chance at matching that offer. If they can’t match the offer, the team that made the initial proposal will be able to sign Wallace, but they’ll have to give the Steelers their first round pick in return.
The reason teams like the Patriots and Ravens have been rumored to possibly be interested in signing Wallace, is because they pick late in the first round and it would be worth it for them to give up a first round pick for a player like Wallace.
Right now, all the Steelers can do is sit back and hope they can match any offers that teams might throw at Wallace. And if they lose him, they’ll at least get a first round pick in return.