Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) catches a pass during warm-ups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The Sun-Sentinel reported that Mike Wallace is the top target for the Miami Dolphins this off-season. They cited multiple sources. Makes me wonder if they are being played.
Consider that for the better part of five years no one has had any clue what the Dolphins were planning. Now, in a year when the team is expected to make a splash in free agency, leaks are beginning to sprout? Sorry, I’m not buying it. Jeff Ireland is a smart guy and I can’t see anyone within the organization letting something this big slip.
Consider the consequences if this is true. Mike Wallace is going to hear about it. His agent is going to hear about it. Finally they will meet with the Dolphins and will ask for exactly what they want and if the Dolphins do indeed want him, they will have little choice but to pay it.
Welcome to the NFL free agency. It’s supply and demand. Mike Wallace is top three in supply and Miami has the need and therefore the demand. So to me, it makes little sense to allow that hole in the dam to start spewing water. Unless of course you want it known beyond doubt that Mike Wallace is your guy and this is the best way to get his attention…and you are willing to pay the man what he wants.
The other side of that coin is deception. Throw off the interested parties. Get their attention off the guy you really want. Say Greg Jennings. You put out the word you want Wallace. You give other teams the notion that you will pay. Then when they start bidding against you, you simply do an about face and grab the guy you really want.
That could also mean a lower salary. It could mean a lot of things.
Wallace is without a doubt one of the best free agent WR’s to come on the market in years. He has the game breaking ability. The speed to keep defenses honest. A legit WR who will command double coverage and game planning. He would immediately become a long ball target for Ryan Tannehill and won’t demand the ball like Brandon Marshall.
For all the speed, Wallace drops a lot of passes. He is a questionable teammate, lacks a full 60 minutes of full attention, and fits the young diva style of WR play. Make no mistake though, Mike Wallace will sell tickets and Mike Wallace will sell merchandise. He will also sell the Dolphins to the fans. And that is something that is needed for owner Stephen Ross.
One thing has become obvious over the last few weeks. The Dolphins will not be sitting back and waiting for free agency to fold in front of them but instead take a stand on how it plays out. They will not be facing the obstacle of competing with other teams with more money but instead with other teams with less money.
It’s also becoming obvious that while everyone thinks they know what the Dolphins will do, it’s unclear if what they do know is what will happen in a few weeks.
The start of the NFL Combine begins this week and with it will come the first round of “tampering”. Everyone does it but clearly teams get an idea of what it will take to get players on the move. Even a player named Mike Wallace.