By Dan Pompei | National Football Post
For the next week or so, the NFL will be a wide receiver world.
So many have wide receiver envy. Among the teams who could make wide receiver moves include the Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Browns, Steelers, Rams, 49ers, Bears and Jets.
Wide receivers are expected to be the stars of free agency, 2013. They already have been the stars, and free agency hasn’t even begun yet. The Chiefs coughed up a reported $56 million over five years to prevent up and down Dwayne Bowe from becoming a free agent. And the Dolphins paid Brian Hartline, who has had one 1,000 yard receiving season, an average of more than $6 million per year to keep him off the market.
“I think Brian could have gotten more money if he went to free agency,” his agent Drew Rosenhaus told me. “But he wanted to stay in Miami, so he was comfortable with it. There will be a couple of free agents paid a No. 1 receiver’s salary. A few will get No. 2 money. And a lot will get No. 3 and No. 4 receiver deals. We wanted to get to the top of No. 2 wide receiver salary tier with Brian.”
Mike Wallace: catch him if you can.
The Hartline and Bowe contracts were just warmup pitches. Other wide receivers with expiring contracts who are in line for paydays include Mike Wallace of the Steelers, Greg Jennings of the Packers, Wes Welker of the Patriots, Danny Amendola of the Rams and Brandon Gibson of the Rams. There even has been talk that restricted free agent Victor Cruz of the Giants will get some play. If he does, he could be the highest paid of all.
Otherwise, Wallace is likely to sign the biggest contract of any non-quarterback of the offseason. He is this year’s Mario Williams.
But that’s what gives some teams pause. Mario Williams didn’t exactly light up Buffalo last year. And there is a string of wide receivers who signed big money free agent deals who disappointed. The lastest is Robert Meacham. In previous years, there were T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Javon Walker and Alvin Harper.
And Wallace is likely to be highly overpaid. Those who should know speculate his new deal will average more than $13 million per season. “There is no Vincent Jackson this year,” a personnel director for an NFC team said. “Mike Wallace is more of an outside vertical guy, but he doesn’t go inside much. He isn’t real strong run after catch. He’s pretty good at comebacks and hitches because defenders play off him since they have to respect his speed.”
With wide, receivers, it’s always buyer beware. Free agency isn’t a sure-fire way to acquire a wideout, though it often is a more reliable way to land one than the high rounds of the draft.
There are a number of issues specific to wide receivers that increase the risk factor. Including:
*Receivers who fit well in one system don’t always fit well in another. They are not interchangeable parts.
“Some guys only can play inside,” said an AFC pro personnel director. “Some are only Xs. Some aren’t smart enough to learn all three positions, especially if they are in a new system.”
Percy Harvin traded to Seattle for their 1st, 7th, and a mid rounder in 2014.
Also hearing rumors that no one else in interested in Wallace due to his asking price. If the Vikings aren't interested it could get tricky for Wallace due to no other teams driving up his price.. but I have heard the Pats are interested but they don't pay.
Talking Points: All signs point to Miami Dolphins landing WR Mike Wallace
by Ben Volin
All signs point to Dolphins landing Mike Wallace.
The Dolphins have made little secret of their desire to upgrade their receiver corps for next season and surround Ryan Tannehill with better weapons. And a lot of the talk has focused on Mike Wallace, who is the youngest (26), fastest and arguably the best receiver available in free agency.
The Dolphins can’t sign Wallace until 4 p.m. Tuesday, but all signs point to him landing in Miami, perhaps minutes after the new league year begins tomorrow. For example:
* There’s Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, stating this morning in his MMQB column that “Miami didn’t have much, if any, competition for a big-money deal ($11 million or more a year) for wide receiver Mike Wallace.”
* ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeting this morning, “League-wide expectation is that WR Mike Wallace winds up in Miami with the Dolphins.”
* USA Today’s Mike Garafolo reporting that the Dolphins spent the weekend “courting receivers” and “the team expects to put forth an offer that will be in Wallace’s price range.” Garafolo also mentions St. Louis Rams WR Brandon Gibson as a target of the Dolphins, and this report jibes with our report from the Combine, that the Dolphins were active in meeting with several receivers two weeks ago.
Now we’ll add our own two cents: We hear from someone we trust that it’s a “done deal” that Wallace will be signing with Miami.
Assuming it does come to fruition, Wallace will be the Dolphins’ first big signing since 2010, when they traded for Brandon Marshall and gave him a $48 million contract, and signed LB Karlos Dansby and gave him $43 million.
Wallace, who has 32 touchdowns over four NFL seasons with Pittsburgh, would give the Dolphins the speedy deep threat they sorely lacked last season.
“He’ll translate well to that offense,” former longtime NFL executive Bill Polian said this morning on ESPN. “Brian Hartline is a possession receiver. Davone Bess is a possession receiver. They need Mike Wallace, or someone like him.”
And it appears that very soon, the Dolphins will have him.
Vikings offered Mike Wallace richer contract, dad says
By Chris Wesseling
Around the League Writer
Published: March 28, 2013
The Miami Dolphins handed Mike Wallace the richest contract among this year's free agents, good for $27 million in guarantees and $60 million over five years.
To hear Wallace's father tell it, the speedy wide receiver's pay day could have been even higher. Mike Wallace Jr. claims his son actually turned down more money from the Minnesota Vikings. The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks were among the teams that also showed interest, according to Wallace's dad.
A native of New Orleans, Wallace has had designs on heading south since the Pittsburgh Steelers neglected to meet his long-term contract demands last offseason.
"The (Vikings) had come to the point where they were telling him, 'You don't have to live here, just be here during the season,' " Wallace's dad recently told The Miami Herald. "He wanted to get out of that snow and cold weather."
The mutual attraction between Wallace and the Dolphins was the worst-kept secret heading into the free agency period.
Having traded Percy Harvin, the Vikings immediately sprang into action as a competitor for Wallace. NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported at the time that the Dolphins fully expected to be bidding against a Vikings team willing to go to $13 million per year.
The end result was a perfect storm for Wallace, with the receiver-needy Vikings driving up his price tag on the warm-weather Dolphins.