had 64 receptions for 836 yards for the Steelers
in 2012. (Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports)
Is Mike Wallace one of the top three or four wide receivers in the National Football League? The Miami Dolphins seem to think so.
Wallace was headed to Miami as the NFL's free-agency window opened, prepared to sign a five-year deal worth as much as $65 million with a whopping $30 million guaranteed, per ESPN's John Clayton. If those numbers prove true, Wallace's new deal would average out at $13 million per season, placing him third on the list of highest-paid receivers behind only Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
Given that Wallace is just 26 (he'll turn 27 in August) and already has 235 catches and more than 4,000 yards receiving to his name, you could make the argument that Miami just landed a player headed into his prime. However, he was inconsistent at best over his last few months in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers quickly deemed his asking price well out of their comfort zone.
With Brian Hartline signing a new deal worth a little more than $6 million per season last week, the Dolphins could be in up over $19 million for their top two receivers.
Wallace's presence alongside Hartline could do wonders for Ryan Tannehill, as he enters his second season as starter. Wallace's speed should provide the Dolphins with the deep threat they were missing last season.
But will there be enough big-play Tannehill-to-Wallace connections to justify that price tag?
The Dolphins desperately needed a game-changer out wide, and Wallace can be that. It's hard to peg him as the NFL's No. 3 overall receiver, though -- at least until he shows more consistency.