PITTSBURGH — Despite reports and heavy speculation that Mike Wallace would report to the Steelers on Monday, the holdout receiver was not there.
High school teammate and Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis said Wallace would arrive Tuesday, however. So, the drama continues to build. Officially, Wallace, coach Mike Tomlin and the organization aren't talking, but teammates openly discussed the pending arrival.
Rookie guard David DeCastro was at the facility, took part in meetings and hung with teammates. But the Steelers' first-round pick was in crutches after sustaining a potentially severe knee injury during Saturday's preseason game. He will undergo surgery Wednesday.
Pittsburgh concludes the preseason by hosting Carolina on Thursday.
Lewis and cornerback Ike Taylor are arguably Wallace's closest friends on the team, and the two have openly embraced playfully acting as conduits for speculation concerning Wallace's status and whereabouts.
After a media member requested Lewis call Wallace on Monday, Lewis and Taylor passed Lewis' cell phone back and forth during a conversation. Taylor played coy.
"Just to have him back, whenever he comes, it's going to be a plus," Taylor said. "We miss him, we miss the attitude, we miss the way he clowns, we just miss Mike in general. So, when he gets back, we're going to embrace him."
Wallace had 2,450 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns the past two seasons. A restricted free agent, he would need to sign a one-year tender of approximately $2.7 million to report to the team. The Steelers suspended negotiations with Wallace when he was a no-show on the first day of training camp. The organization also has a policy of not conducting contract negotiations during the regular season, meaning the clock is ticking if Wallace wants a long-term deal — though he could be content to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent after this season.
With Wallace not around, the Steelers gave an extension to their other starting receiver, Antonio Brown, on the third day of training camp.
NOTES: Players cut by the Steelers on Monday were DBs Myron Rolle, Andre Freeman, and Walter McFadden; LBs Ryan Baker and Mortty Ivy; DTs Mike Blanc and Kade Weston; WRs Paul Cox, Juamorris Stewart and Jimmy Young; K Daniel Hrapmann; OL Kyle Jolly; LS Matt Katula and TEs Jamie McCoy and Justin Peelle.