It isn't a secret that the San Francisco 49ers are shopping for multiple upgrades at wide receiver. After all, it proved to be their undoing in the NFC Championship Game. The fact that their receivers combined for just one catch in that dis-heartening loss proves this point even further.
Sources close to the San Francisco 49ers have indicated to me that they are seriously contemplating signing Mike Wallace, a restricted free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers, to an offer sheet.
The Steelers, who decided against placing the franchise tag on their star receiver, do not have the salary cap room to match any competitive offer for the restricted free agent. Any team that signs Wallace to an offer sheet would have to give the Steelers a first round pick as compensation if the offer isn't matched.
A front loaded deal would seem to guarantee that Pittsburgh wouldn't be able to match the contract. With that said, there are only a handful of teams that need a wide receiver who could put together such an offer.
The New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers would be the most likely destination for the up-and-coming receiver. At this point I would conclude that Washington is out of the running due to where they are selecting in the first round.
This leaves the Patriots and 49ers as the two top suitors.
For his part, Wallace isn't shying away from the possibility of going to either team, stating that he could be the "missing piece" for both teams.
This source wouldn't get into detail too much about the fluid situation, but believes that the 49ers wouldn't be adverse to giving up the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to acquire Wallace.
This makes a lot of sense considering that San Francisco is said to be targeting a wide receiver with that pick in the first place. Why not get the proven player that has put up two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and is still only 25?
Reports also suggest that a contract offer with a first year base salary of $12 million would make it nearly impossible for Pittsburgh to match.
San Francisco is in position to make such an offer.
With all this said, I would put the chances that Wallace is signed away from Pittsburgh at about 25 percent.