In what might turn out to be a classic case of foreshadowing, the end of Mike Wallace
's fourth season in the NFL could look strangely similar to his fifth -- with him not playing for the Steelers
Wallace has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns because of a hip/hamstring injury in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
That means the pass that was intended for him that was intercepted by Bengals safety Reggie Nelson with 14 seconds remaining might have been his last significant play for the Steelers
This also will be the first game Wallace has missed in his four years with the Steelers
"I didn't want to go out like that," Wallace said. "I really wanted to end on a high note. It's unfortunate."
Wallace played this season on a one-year contract worth $2.7 million after failing to agree on a contract extension with the Steelers
in the offseason. He held out after the Steelers
made the $2.7 million tender and missed all the offseason workouts and training camp.
He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, meaning he is free to sign with another team
"I don't know, we'll see," Wallace said about the possibility of returning to the Steelers
"I got big plans, no matter what the situation. I definitely got big plans for myself and my family. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully everything will go in a positive manner."
were never confident they could sign Wallace to a contract extension because they believed he wanted too much money. And, after signing Antonio Brown
to a six-year, $42.5 million contract when Wallace did not report to training camp, it is unlikely that will change now.
It also is unlikely the Steelers
will use a franchise tag on Wallace because that means they would have to pay him between $10 million and $11 million next season.
"I definitely consider [returning]," Wallace said. "It's the team I've been on my whole career. I don't know anything else. I love playing here."
Wallace has looked more like his deep-threat self late in the season, catching 12 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games -- an average of 18.3 yards per catch. Included in those 12 catches were receptions for 40 and 60 yards.
Wallace is tied for the team lead with eight touchdown catches, giving him 32 for his career.
That is more touchdowns than any other Steelers
player since 2009 (Rashard Mendenhall
"It's disappointing," Wallace said. "You always want to be with [your] teammates every single game. It's kind of weird. This is the first game I ever missed since I've been here. It's a little weird for me."