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Bowe deal helps set wide receiver market quite high

The wide receiver market is apparently set.

It happened Monday when the Kansas City Chiefs signed Dwayne Bowe to a contract that profootballtalk.com reports is worth $56 million over five years. That's an $11.2 million per season average and that includes $26 million in guaranteed money.

That's now the starting point for a top 5 receiver considered to be a team's No. 1 pass option.

It is also happening at the Dolphins practice facility and South Florida as the agent Drew Rosenhaus and the Dolphins are negotiating a new deal for wide receiver Brian Hartline. Hartline wants to stay in Miami. General manager Jeff Ireland holds him in high regard and wants to keep him.

And as I wrote Monday on this blog, the price point is $6 million per year on average. That's apparently what a good No. 2 wide receiver will cost in this market.

And so the market is set.

Why is this important?

Well, because if you've been paying attention you understand the Dolphins aren't done shopping. They will chase Mike Wallace in free agency. They will chase Mike Wallace in free agency. Here, let me say it one more time as I've been saying it since January, the Dolphins will chase Mike Wallace in free agency.

His agent will argue that Bowe's deal was something of a hometown discount done with one team and no other suitors. Wallace will have multiple suitors.

So Mike Wallace will cost more than what Dwayne Bowe cost the Chiefs. He considers himself a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL and because so many teams need a guy with his skill set, somebody is bound to agree with that assessment.

That means the Dolphins must be prepared to climb the money mountain well past the $11.2 million per year plateau to get Wallace. And they must be prepared to not only make him one of the NFL's highest-paid receivers, but also the club's highest paid player.

Obviously this deal won't reach the top of the mountain set by Calvin Johnson ($18 million per year) or Larry Fitzgerald ($16 million per year) but Wallace's deal will conservatively come in around $12-$13 million per year when this is all done.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, that's too expensive for the Dolphins. They only have $36-$38 million in salary cap space and about $5 million of that must be held in reserve for the draft.)

Thank you, gallery. But the Dolphins have plenty of cap space to afford Wallace.

To understand that you have to look at the breakdown of Bowe's contract. His salary cap cost for 2013, for example, will be $4 million. His cap cost for 2014 will be $12 million. His cap cost for 2015 will be $14 million and his cap cost the final two years of his deal will come in at $13 million unless the team does something different.

Looking at this example, you see that a contract similar to Bowe's would easily fit within the Miami cap structure in 2013. A $4 million cap hit is nothing. Dimitri Patterson is slated to cost the Dolphins $4.6 million against the cap in 2013 and he is unproven in Miami. Karlos Dansby and Randy Starks will cost the Dolphins twice that amount against the cap and I assure you they will not score 6-10 TDs per season as Wallace might.

So the first-year cost is not only acceptable but inviting.

Obviously, the real hit comes after the first year. Wallace would be Miami's most costly player against the cap. But again, comparing to Miami's cap structure, it fits because the quarterback is still cheap, the $12 million hit you accepted for carrying Jake Long is no longer on the books, and Starks won't be carrying that $8.45 million cap charge from the franchise tag next year.

I will say this: Assuming the talks yield a deal with Hartline as the present arc of negotiations are heading, the Dolphins are likely to add only one more expensive wide receiver. The idea of re-signing Hartline and adding both Wallace and Greg Jennings (who will fall somewhere between Hartline and Wallace on a per season basis) is likely out of the question.

The Dolphins are expected to speak to Jennings, but he would be a fallback position if the Dolphins cannot land Wallace. He wouldn't come in addition to Wallace and Hartline unless the Dolphins are willing to go on the cheap for everything else.

Back to the point: The issue of adding Mike Wallace this year is moot if you're worried whether the Dolphins have enough cap space. They have more than enough with plenty left over to do other business.

But it will get expensive down the road. That apparently is the price of doing business in free agency.

Comments

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Hartline/Wallace

Meets

Hartline/Marshall

Take Two!!!!

..Barden would be cheap as hell. I know his production is shite! He has been injured..blah blah..He is a big bodied guy. I said if he doesn't make it, we cut him. we still need camp bodies. What would be the hurt.

Prediction--He'll struggle & miss time due to an injury in 2013.
Posted by: We Need Playmakers | March 05, 2013 at 02:10 PM

Prediction?....You mean fact?

MD20,

Based on the money I believe he'll get from some idiotic GM I think he's the riskiest player in all of FA. I pray the name of that GM is not Jeff Ireland.....Tell Jackie to start packing!!!

"Resign Jake, Or Player Of Equal Value."

Dashi,

A player of equal value is going to cost a lot less. It's the name 'Jake Long' that's going to cost a team more.

Darryl, comes back to the fact Fasano is not a #1 TE. He did much better on the opposite side. I believe, and have for years here, a #1 TE is an absolute MUST. Whether it be Ertz, Eiffert or a guy like Cook, who could also split out like a WR. A lineup of Wallace, Hartline, Bess and a big TE will be formidable. Plus I believe we need to draft a WR in RD 2.

Dashi, I suspect you're going to need crisis counseling when Jake isn't brought back.

Jake said going into THIS YEAR, he's the healthiest he's ever been. Guess what happened?

He also said it the year before, guess what happened?

Jake hasn't been an elite LT since his 2nd year. You make it sound like losing Long is catastrophic.

Jake may have been the top LT in the NFL his first 2 years. But, it's been a LONG time since then. It's time to move on.

Darryl, comes back to the fact Fasano is not a #1 TE. He did much better on the opposite side. I believe, and have for years here, a #1 TE is an absolute MUST. Whether it be Ertz, Eiffert or a guy like Cook, who could also split out like a WR. A lineup of Wallace, Hartline, Bess and a big TE will be formidable. Plus I believe we need to draft a WR in RD 2.

Bobby,

I know it's not the popular opinion but if we re-sign Hartline it's CRITICAL to sign a top tier TE or draft either Ertz or Eifert. Tannehill becomes a better QB overnight if we find him a guy who causes mismatches in the middle of the field.

Not saying getting another WR or two is not critical to the offense but a good, solid TE is a QB's best friend.

On defense it's all about the secondary....

Dashi, I suspect you're going to need crisis counseling when Jake isn't brought back.

Jake said going into THIS YEAR, he's the healthiest he's ever been. Guess what happened?

He also said it the year before, guess what happened?

Jake hasn't been an elite LT since his 2nd year. You make it sound like losing Long is catastrophic.

Jake may have been the top LT in the NFL his first 2 years. But, it's been a LONG time since then. It's time to move on.

LOL,

Couldn't agree more. Still don't know wtf you were saying about Odrick yesterday. He's not a DT.

Pay Big Jake. There's plenty of cap room.

"Browns VP of player personnel Michael Lombardi's title has reportedly been changed to "general manager."
The reasoning is unclear, though former Chiefs director of pro personnel Ray Farmer has been hired as assistant GM. Whatever Lombardi's title is, the former NFL Network talking head will be calling the personnel shots in Cleveland."

Good night Cleveland....This guy MAY be a bigger moron than Ireland. If we let Long & Smith walk then Lombardi automatically becomes the worst GM in football. If Long stays then Ireland keeps the title & the crown until he's fired at the end of the season.

Both Jennings and Wallace were not even in the top 15 WR's in 2012 and should not be paid way up there. They would be great acquisitions at the right price. They were not re signed by their teams because they had WR's better than them or have plans on getting players better than them. No GM or HC in their right mind would release one of their better players if they knew it would make them a worse team. Paying them on an elite # 1 scale would be wasting money. Hartline had a better season than Wallace and if he is in the 6-6½ Mil range why would we give Wallace or Jennings 11 Mil. What have you done in the NFL lately should be the negotiating approach.
Still stand my ground of rather having Jennings than Wallace but at the right price.

"Pay Big Jake. There's plenty of cap room."

I'd rather pay Jackie Long. At least she's cute....

Mike Wallace BABY....

DD,

Dont have to ask me about Hopkins, I love this guy as a player for us.

Im just watching the picture being painted here. If signed, Wallace will be the #1, Hartline getting #2 money says it all. Both Hartline and Wallace are young. So I dont see Ireland following up this scenario and still drafting a wr with the 1st 2 picks.

Not the Ireland we know.

However, if Jennings is signed instead, he's going into his 8th season. Then maybe we take a wr with one of the 1st 2 picks.

What I said about Odrick is that he is far more likely to be successful as a DT than an end in a 4-3.

He's a strong guy. Good motor. Those are qualities of a DT.

A 4-3 end needs quickness & rush moves to be good. Odrick has neither.

While I admit he is a bit of a tweener, I think he is better suited as a DT.

Regardless of if they trade him, play him at DE or DT, the fact remains the trade down to take this guy is looking like another wasted draft choice. Worst part is, quality players were available.

Still stand my ground of rather having Jennings than Wallace but at the right price.

Opti,

At least Philbin would know what & who he's getting in Jennings. My concern with Jennings are the injuries over the last two years. The talent is definitely still there & I don't believe that 30 is over the hill for a WR.

At the end of the day teams will overpay for both players in FA. Will it be us??? I don't see it happening.

"Regardless of if they trade him, play him at DE or DT, the fact remains the trade down to take this guy is looking like another wasted draft choice. Worst part is, quality players were available."

LOL,

Agreed but I'm willing to overlook that pick if Vernon steps up & becomes legit this year. If not then Odrick stands out like a sore thumb. The guy doesn't run, he lumbers & it's painful to watch.

LOL,

Ive posted several times at the end of last season Kevin Coyle said he isnt 100% confident having Odrick play full time DT. Tony McDaniels is Starks primary backup. Problem with McDaniels is that he seems injury prone.

So if Starks walked, Odrick is inconsistent at DT, and Tony McDaniels goes down again. we're screwed in the middle of the run defense.

Swope, makes too much sense right? He and Tanny used to share shakes, Sherman tucked them both in at night in college. Christmases together at home in College Station.. I just think if you throw familiarity out the window. Who is the better prospect Swope? or Hopkins?

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | March 05, 2013 at 01:35 PM

Agreed on Hopkins. The other guy I put up there is Robert Woods, USC. One of thosetwo receivers are going to there in the 2nd Rd. I personally think Hopkins will go late 1st.

In fact, I would like to resign Hartline and draft both Woods and Hopkins. Save the FA money for a CB,RT and G.

WNP,
Jennings, Hartline, Bess, Moore, Matthews and a top draft pick along with 2 decent TE's should give us some weapons. We also need a top notch CB and some OL help all this will cost and so I do not want to over pay for any one position but rather spread the wealth so we can spread the field.

DD and WNP,

What You Guys Want The Fins To Run. And What The Fins Really Run!! Are 2 Totally Different Things.

Look At Green Bay.

Look At A&M.

Look At Miami.

That Is What We Are Going To Run. (Not The NE Offense)

Does Green bay Use 2 TE's? Heck, They Want To Get Rid Of their Only TE!!

Texas A&M? Spread. And Sherman Was The One That Recommended The New Coach At A&M. NO TE.

The Fins? We Ran 4-5 Wr Sets Last Year!! And We Will Run More This Year!! And Egnew Is More Wr Than TE!!

Dashi Is Looking At What The Dolphins Will Run!! And How We Can Get Better.

You Guys Are Looking At It Like, What Would You Run If You Were The Miami Dolphin Coach.

Odrick wasnt a wasted draft pick. He was one of the best 3-4 DE's in the nfl. Problem is, with the coaching switch we now play a4-3 defense. No way did Ireland forsee this in 2011.

What eventually happens with Odrick, only Ireland knows. Still on 3rd and longs, we could play both Odrick and Starks in the middle to get a better pass rush.

Personally I don't know why everyone is so om Mike Wallaces nuts. I wouldn't bring him in unless I planned for him to be my #2 because he aint a #1, plain and simple.

WQAM just said the deal is done! 6.5 Million per year

bidniss,

because few can do what he does, stretch the field

My thinking here is the market is way overinflated at WR if 11mill/year is the price. We should seek out top players in free agency at other positions of need. We could get a solid CB, TE, G or RT.
Double down on draft day for WR's. A WR should never be valued over QB. That's like putting the cart in front of the horse!

Guys,

Its isnt a mater of Swope or Hopkins. Im just saying if we signed Wallace(#1 wr) and Hartline's getting 32 wr money. That would suggest Ireland most likely doesnt select a wr earlier than the 2nd 2nd rd pick.

You can best believe Hopkins would not be available when time to use our 2nd 2nd rd pick.

But if Jennings is signed instead, because he's entering his 8th year, Then I could see a possible 1st rd r 1st 2nd rd pick being used at wr. Then Deandre Hopkins eems more realistic.

Yesterday, it doesn't matter what he was originally drafted to be. It's irrelevant.

The fact is we have a player who doesn't fit & was never highly productive to begin with. That is a wasted pick, regardless of how we got to that point.

I can tell you however that a guy like Earl Thomas or D. Thomas would be a fit today. Both were attainable too.

Look no further than your dline right now. The least valuable player is the 1st round pick. Everyone else was a later round pick or undrafted!

Stop wasting high picks on bodies & start using them on skill guys.

In fact, I would like to resign Hartline and draft both Woods and Hopkins. Save the FA money for a CB,RT and G.

Woodshed,

You make a very good point. Sure it's exciting if we got Wallace or Jennings but where are these guys going to be in terms of production after two or three years. If you're going to give one of these guys approximately $25-30 Million in Guaranteed money alone what kind of return on our investment are we going to get??? You REALLY want four or five solid seasons for that kind of money & I honestly don't believe we'll get that. However, if you hit on a good WR in the draft you can realistically get that & for MUCH less.

If we're talking one or two year deals--which we're not--then I think either guy would be great for Tannehill. I think Steven Jackson would be great too but we're not ready to contend this year. Assuming we do it right we're still a couple of years away.

Dashi@2:59
4 & 5 WR sets would only be possible if out O line stands up. The O line would dictate if we need a TE and/or rb to help with the pass protection and that would be a 3 WR set.

Woodshed,

The value at all positions get higher during each new year of fa. Its not about what players are worth. Its about what the market says they are worth coming into a new year.

Each new free agency sets the precedent for the next fa period to follow. It always goes up, never down, and never stays the same.

bidniss,
because few can do what he does, stretch the field
Posted by: dolfandave | March 05, 2013 at 03:02 PM

Hm, well if I remember correctly our biggest issues have been putting points on the board once we get inside the 30 and in the redzone...so...how much of the field is left to stretch @ 12 MIL per year...How far can you run a 9 route at the 20..oh yeah not that far. A Wallace type player signing this year, is a year too soon.

To Me Jake Is Finally Healthy. Spo Made Jake Play Hurt!! Way To Many Times.

Agreed

"Stop wasting high picks on bodies & start using them on skill guys."

LOL,

You're 100% correct but that's not the Parcells/Ireland way.

You a**h***s in here really believe Wallace Hartline Bess is going to be taken seriously as a wr trio are very delusional !! Hartline&Wallace will be the most overpriced overpayed combo of all time if they get Wallace !! They actually gave Hartline 6-6.5 mil base salary is so damn moronic its so surreal I'm still in shock that dumb a** Ireland actually gave him the money !!

I wouldn't mind Delanie Walker either. Just a good solid football player that can knock the sh#t out of people. Granted he doesn't have GREAT hands but I just love his toughness.

LOL,

Exactly why Armando created a blog a few weeks backs suggesting trying to trade Odrick. He really doesnt quite fit the defensive scheme ran now.

Odrick was drafted 1st rd, so if we could get a middle 2nd for him now I would be happy. Even an upper 3rd at the worst.

Ireland need get on the phone with gm's running a 4-3 defenses. Odrick has 2yrs left on his rookie contract(2013 and 2014). Moving his contract is fairly cheap.

But we do still need a vet WR on this team next year. Can't have Hartline Bess and some Rooks running around out there. I just personally wish we would persue a good overall skilled receiever other than a "one trick pony" Can't we draft a one trick pony? And not pay that guy a 60MIL contract?

WQAM just said the deal is done! 6.5 Million per year

Dave,

I want to see it in print. F#ck the radio. They also said that Long was getting the tag last week. Ask Bobby...

Hopkins???

Give me Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers, or Markus Wheaton anyday.

LOL,

Wow! Just looked up Odrick's contract. 5yrs $13,071,939, his 2013 cap hit, $1,939, 868. His 2014 cap hit only $2,000,000.

For a team needing a 3-4 DE, Odrick is very movable. Before the season starts is the bset time to move him.

"F#ck the radio"

Well you can if you want to. Sounds kind of painful to me...lol

If we get Wallace then the fist draft pick should be a CB and then we should trade up back to the first round and get TE Eifert. The offence would be so sick!!!

Plus moving Odrick opens $2 million in cap space. That alone taes $2 million off of Wallace's price tage the 1st 2 seasons.

If get Wallace at 12 mil a year. Moving Odrick would be liking getting for only $10 million a year.

Give me Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers, or Markus Wheaton anyday.

Mark,

Da'Rick had THREE failed drug tests & got kicked out of school. Just what Philbin is looking for right??? LOL!!! Not happening.

Its one onf those fleshlight radios dave...very life like.

Each new free agency sets the precedent for the next fa period to follow. It always goes up, never down, and never stays the same.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 05, 2013 at 03:11 PM

My point exactly YG! Bowe may have raised the bar higher than what either Jennings or Wallace is worth! Bowe is an Alpha receiver. A guy who can be thrown to in coverage and he will still make the grab because of his physical superiority over secondary players. Wallace and Jennings are not that guy. They can't be paid like they are alphas.

To get an ideal FA, you want to get a high value player at a position of need. The fewer teams see it as a position of need, the better your chances of getting a good price. Following that line of thought, we can address other areas of need and not get overwhelmed in The WR sweepstakes.

I have a feeling the signing of Hartline means that the Dolphins know internally that they have no shot at Wallace or Jennings.

Opti,

Agreed. If The Fins Have A Solid O-Line. 4-5 Wide Is A Very Real Possibility.

Else, Expect To See 1 TE.

Don't Expect To See 2 TE's. Not Saying The Fins Won't Use Power Formations. Just Not As The Base Offense.

It Just Makes More Sense If The Fins Are Going To Be Running A No Huddle Offense To Run 4 Wr's, Instead Of 2 TE's. WR's Are Naturally Better Conditioned.

And Once You Have A Good O-line. You Can Run On A Team who has 4 CB's On The Field and Only 1 LB!!

No Seth, I disagree. We need more than one receiver man.

Another weapon we could see used a little more this year is Thigpen. Towards the end of last year he lined up wide and even in the back field and he can be explosive at times. Would be nice to have Bush, Miller and Thigpen to complement the receiving squad.

WNP, if he doesn't become a good player, at least he will be good to party with. Win/win

Another weapon we could see used a little more this year is Thigpen. Towards the end of last year he lined up wide and even in the back field and he can be explosive at times. Would be nice to have Bush, Miller and Thigpen to complement the receiving squad.

Opti,

I wished we used Thigpen more on offense to see what we have. Same with Miller. This was confusing...

WNP, if he doesn't become a good player, at least he will be good to party with. Win/win

Mark,

That's exactly why I'd rather pay Jackie Long then Jake...Grrrrrr.

Woodshed Gang,

Not Ireland's fault Chiefs didnt allow Bowe to hit the open market. Also not Ireland's fault Chiefs paid Bowe what they did to make sure he wouldnt.

Actually, it's beter Wallace didnt sign first. Teams are enamored with his ability to blow thw top off of defenses. He probably gets paid more than Bowe whether Bowe signed first or not.

The real crime would be if someone paid Jennings more than Bowe. Age will be a major factor in what Jennings gets. He's going into his 8th season.

If Rosenhaus gets Hartline over $6 Million a year he's truly the best. Total sketchball but there's NO agent I'd rather have if I played in the NFL.

More Thigpen?

As fans, we can blow whatever from our rusted pipes. We have no idea what the coaches see in practice. We ass-ume many different things. But its practice where the players gain the coaches trust.

go finsssssssssss

You've got to hate Andy Reed. He is a F moron. He just traded a 2nd and next year's 3rd for a meh QB who will never win a SB, at least not in KC, and overpaid both Albert and especially a bum like Bowe.

F u very much you idiot is what all teams in the NFL are saying. This guy will never win a SB and makes life a lot harder for all other teams by driving the market up so badly.

Next time you think Ireland is bad think about Andy Reed and you'll breathe a bit easier.

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