The Steelers really had no chance of re-signing wide receiver Mike Wallace, but the sting of not having him on the Heinz Field turf will be felt for a while. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger understands this.
"People don't realize how important it is to have a guy with [Wallace's] ability on the football field and the guy who is probably going to notice it the most right from the get-go is Antonio Brown ," Roethlisberger said in a radio interview Friday. "Safeties have to respect Mike's speed. Cornerbacks and the defense are scheming to stop Mike Wallace going deep. It opens us other receivers, so to lose a guy like that is really going to be tough for all of us."
Wallace led the Steelers in receiving yards in each of the past three seasons and scored 26 touchdowns during that time. Brown could be a WR2 in fantasy while acting as the No. 1 WR in Pittsburgh, but Ben's right; Brown's going to notice Wallace's absence pretty quickly -- like, as soon as he faces his first double coverage. I think Roethlisberger would have sneaked into QB1 territory with Wallace this year. Without him, Ben's out of the top 15.