Mike Wallace said today he spent the past two or three weeks contemplating where he would sign as a free agent wide receiver and actually had "a couple of options," about teams to play for.
But when he studied the Dolphins he saw a 7-9 team "that was better than a normal 7-9" team. He saw a quarterback -- Ryan Tannehill -- that is young but "has a lot of upside," he thought. And then the the so-called legal tampering period opened and the Dolphins got out of the blocks like Usain Bolt.
"I really felt they were really aggressive since Saturday when we were able to talk," Wallace said.
The Dolphins and Wallace's agent Bus Cook agreed by Saturday that the contract for Wallace would be for five years and $60 million. But the deal was not yet done. The guaranteed money was still an issue. That took a while but eventually the Dolphins and Cook got to the $30 million plateau that matched the team record $30 million in guaranteed money Jake Long got when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2008.
So what are the Dolphins paying for?
Safety Chris Clemons, who signed a one-year deal with Miami, was asked today if he ever remembers covering Mike Wallace. He did and this is how he described it:
"I had the middle of the field, corner played off, he took it to the house," Clemons said.
Dolphins fans will feel encouraged about that. On the other hand, they might also recognize Clemons is likely to be a Miami starting safety.
I asked Wallace if he would be able to provide the kind of production in Miami that he did in Pittsburgh despite the fact the personnel, including the quarterback, and the offensive system will be different.
Wallace said he's not worried about that and that, in fact, the Dolphins have a good quarterback situation. "Two of them actually," he said, referring to Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore.
Wallace and Tannehill had dinner together Tuesday evening. They went to a local restraurant by the Intracoastal Waterway. Wallace thinks Tannehill and he will be fine. "He smiled a lot," Wallace said.
"It's going to be different playing with a QB that's younger than me," Wallace added.
Roethlisberger treated the younger Wallace like something of a little brother, the receiver said.
"Now I have to be the big brother," he said.