AFC North: Steelers fear Browns will sign Mike Wallace

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November 4, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are all but guaranteed to lose free agent receiver mike Wallace this offseason. They don’t have the salary cap room to give him the long-term extension he desires, and will be forced to watch helplessly as their leading receiver of the past three seasons leaves town.

To make matters worse, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports members of the Steelers’ organization believe the division-rival Cleveland Browns will sign Wallace.

 The Browns have about $30 million in space and will be big spenders under new owner Jimmy Haslam and team president Joe Banner. Many in the Steelers organization believe Wallace will end up with their division rivals in Cleveland (Haslam was a former minority owner of the Steelers), and the Browns could make a play for a pass rusher like (Paul) Kruger, too.

If the Browns want to make a serious statemented this offseason that they are dedicated to becoming a winning franchise after a decade of futility, then signing Wallace should be on their list of offseason priorities.

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Tags: AFC North Mike Wallace Paul Kruger