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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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do you really want the attitude of Wallace? Money doesnt solve all problems, sometimes they create a problem. I would agree sign him for a deal and then cut him later on at those prices. He is not worth that price. if the attitude was better, then yes

Wallace is lightnin fast but he cannot catch the ball anymore. To sighn him for that kind of money is completely insane!

Speed means nothing if you can't catch the ball. Be careful what you wish for.

Do why trade Brandon Marshall?

steeler fan here...one thing you will have to do is out bid the brownies? secondly just remember wallace missed all of training camp last year with a whole offence coming in.. i say good ridance to mikey boy, not a team player....

ITS AMAZING HOW WHEN A PLAYER IS ABOUT TO LEAVE HOW ALL OF A SUDDEN HE CAN'T CATCH,NOT A TEAM PLAYER, AND THE TEAM HE IS LEAVING KNOWS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE DOESN'T KNOW! ALL BULLSH.T! THIS MAN HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM IN THE STEELER LOCKER ROOM AND IF THEY HAD THE MONEY THEY WOULD HAVE RESIGNED HIM LAST YEAR! EVERY RECEIVER DROPS PASSES BUT THE THING WALLACE BRINGS TO ANY TEAM IS HE WILL BLOW THE TOP OFF OF A DEFENSE WHICH OPENS THE FIELD UP FOR OTHER RECEIVERS. WATCH HOW PITTSBURGH PASSING GAME SUFFERS THIS YEAR WITHOUT HIM AND THAT AWFUL OL. THE STEELER FRONT OFFICE IS SMART IN THAT THEY KNOW THAT IT IS TIME THEY GET YOUNGER WHILE KEEPING AS MUCH OF THERE CORE AS POSSIBLE. THEY ARE STILL GOOD ON DEFENSE. THE DOLPHINS KNOW THAT WITH WALLACE THIS WILL KEEP TEAMS FROM STACKING THE BOX AND PRESSING MAN/MAN COVERAGES. MATCH WALLACE UP MAN COVERAGE WITHOUT A SAFETY HELP AND TANNEHILL WILL GO DEEP!! THAT WHAT THIS TEAM DOES NOT HAVE AND IT IS CLEAR THE DOLPHINS ARE ATTEMPTING TO MATCH HIM WITH HARTLINE AND BESS AS WELL AS GETTING MORE WEAPONS IN THE DRAFT. SIGNING BOTH WALLACE & HARTLINE AND KEEPING THE CORE IN TACT WILL GET THIS TEAM 3 MORE VICTORIES(10) ADD OTHER PIECES THAT PAN OUT ALSO WILL ADD 2 MORE. ALL THIS IS BARRING ANY MAJOR INJURIES. 7-9 RECORD WAS LARGELY DUE TO THE INABILITY TO SCORE POINTS AND THAT IS WHERE WALLACE HELPS US! SAY WHAT YOU WANT! BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT BUT THE DOLPHINS HAVE NEVER MADE THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT THAT DEEP THREAT ON THE OUTSIDE! NEVER!GET WALLACE AND THIS CHANGES! WHY? BECAUSE IN MIAMI 'S HEAT IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER IN THE 4TH QT IT WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TRYING TO KEEP THIS OFFENSE OUT OF THE ENDZONE WITH EXHAUSTED DB'S. WHETHER NEEDING A SCORE TO PUT A TEAM AWAY OR TO WIN A GAME IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO STOP . THIS IS WHY WALLACE IS THE TOP PRIORITY OF THE DOLPHINS!! IT MAKES SENSE! GO DOLPHINS! CLOSE THE DAM DEAL!

You better get lots of chemo for that CANCER your bringing to your locker room.

Miami please sign Wallace and get his ass out of Pittsburgh. He sucks. He dropped more passes last year than my Granny would have. Pitt always comes through with receivers. They are a dime a dozen!!!!!!!!!!!!

I see nowhere quotes from the agent or Wallace saying this. Typing on your blog "His agent will argue" means you are speculating. Gotta love bloggers with no facts

Well it would be no loss to the Steelers to get rid of wallace and if the last 2 years are any idea of what Miami would be getting is an Money hungry young man who is just a one trick receiver who won't go and get balls if they are not write too him, can't block if you need it and will never be in the big game. doesn't want to put the work in.
Roadway

You Miami people are really misinformed on Mike Wallace. As a lifelong Steeler fan who has followed them closely for many years, my opinion is that Mike Wallace is a one trick pony. He can run fast down the field and sometimes catch deep passes for touchdowns but I have seen him drop many passes that weren't perfect but catchable. In addition, he very seldom caught passes over the middle as his quickness is lacking for this function. In addition, he did not help the Steelers in the red zone this year. He also is very money hungry and was a poison in the Steeler locker room as he was jealous of the contract Brown received and similar to the one offered to him. I say good riddance to Mike and good luck to Miami if they give him the huge contract he thinks he deserves.

my opnion has never changed. Steelers should dump Wallace. He's not worth it. He's still immature and greedy and thinks himself great (by two years ago standards - but not last year when he had trouble hanging on to the ball and also fighting for it) The money saved will help the cap and get some other talents that are out there - and who would give their eye teeth to becionme a Steeler.

im a die hard steeler fan and cant wait to see him go ..he is a cry baby..also is not worth the $..he is not a team leader nor will he ever be ..its about mike wallace and mike wallace only...see ya cry baby...dont let the door hit ya in the as@............

Wallace showed who he was this year. Yes the Steelers or any team can use him but not at that price. That is why he played for the Steelers last season. He is not a #1 receiver. I saw every game (drop). He is good to stretch the field. But Miami fans, don't think this is the answer. I dont have a dog in this fight but not Wallace.

You dolphin fans have no idea what mike wallace is about . He drops 2 out of 5 passes , somtimes even more. He is not worth 11 million, he is a 6 million dollar chance taker. He will let you down.

If they sign Wallace and get Hartlline back I'll be a happy dolphins fan. And bringing in a good TE and CB.

Wallace turned into some what of a head case. Don't believe he is even a top 15 receiver anymore. Fast yes but not a good route runner, verticle is his only thing and tha limits his usefullness.
Steeler fan......

I suggest the Steelers do one of the following: Either tell Wallace to take a hike or sign him at any cost and let him sit for his entire contract. He is a selfish distraction to the team and is NOT NEEDED. That is my opinion.

Don't do it dolphins, watch steeler games from past.......from steeler fan


Get used to one trick pony moves and a lot of drops. No Big Ben buying time while he gets open.

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