Hines Ward may not be the only Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver worth more than a casual look by the receivers-light Bears.
Indeed, the Bears undoubtedly have done ample background due diligence not only on Ward, but also on a bigger Pittsburgh prospect: speed receiver Mike Wallace.
Adam Schefter over at ESPN.com reports that the Steelers are not expected to use their franchise tag to secure Wallace, a restricted free agent who will be among the top options on more than a few personnel boards.
The tag for wideouts is expected to be about 9.5 million, a heavy price for the Steelers who are nowhere near the cap-loose Bears.
The tender offer will be less than 2.8 million for giving the Steelers the option of matching an offer to Wallace or receive a first-round draft choice in compensation.
Wallace, 25, emerged as one of the NFLs top speed receivers with 72 catches last season and eight touchdowns. He hasnt missed a game in three seasons with reception totals of 39 and 60 before last year.
If theres a negative, its that Wallace is 6-feet tall, not the taller wideout the Bears and everyone else craves. Wallace also was a third-round draft choice by the Steelers, taken 14 picks after the Bears selected Earl Bennett.
Signing Wallace, assuming the anticipated first-round tender, would cost the Bears their No. 1 as well as a multi-year deal for more than the 30 million they spent in 2005 for Muhsin Muhammed.