Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler Mike Wallace ended his holdout and showed up at team camp on Tuesday.
The speedy wide receiver appeared shortly before 11:30 a.m. and was set to sign the one-year, $2.7 million tender that has been on the table since March.
His arrival means Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew is the only remaining NFL player still holding out.
“We’re excited to get Mike back,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told NFL.com and the NFL Network on Saturday night in anticipation of Wallace’s return. “I talk to him all the time and, you know, he’s one of us. He’s one of our boys, and we are like family. So when he gets back, we are going to be excited.”
Wallace, the team’s 2009 third-round pick out of Ole Miss, has blossomed into one of the league’s top playmakers over the last two seasons. He sat out all offseason workouts and has missed all of training camp in the hopes of forcing the team into giving him a new, long-term deal, but was ultimately unable to force the organization to budge.
The Steelers are notorious for not giving their star players the big money they could find elsewhere and has long refused to negotiate with holdouts.
General Manager Kevin Colbert announced earlier this month that he had no intentions of negotiating with Wallace until he showed up and signed his tender. As if to prove his point, the team then signed receiver Antonio Brown to a six-year $43 million extension after he showed good faith and arrived at camp rather than holdout.
Having Wallace back will benefit the team immediately.
He’s another big-time deep target for Roethlisberger whose speed will allow Pittsburgh to stretch opposing defenses.
Wallace has recorded consecutive seasons of at least 1,100 yards receiving to establish himself as one of the league’s best receivers. He totaled 72 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
Pittsburgh hosts Carolina in Thursday night’s preseason finale, but it’s unclear as of now whether Wallace will suit up for that game. The Steelers travel to Denver on the night of Sept. 9 to open the regular season.