« Polian on Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings | Main | Interest in Eric Winston makes sense for Dolphins »

Potential suitors for Wallace (of which he'll have several)

Everyone knows Mike Wallace is the No. 1 free agent wide receiver that will come available on March 12. And by know everyone also knows the Dolphins will make Wallace their top free agent priority starting March 9 when teams and agents can begin talking without concern about tampering issues. I feel like I've been saying that for months now.

I reported on Feb. 12 to anyone who would listen that Miami would speak to both Wallace and receiver Greg Jennings. Wallace is the priority and Jennings is among the fallback options.

But as none of these things is a secret, particularly the part about Wallace being the top available free agent receiver on the market, you should know that he'll have other suitors. There is no doubt about that.

First, it is his agent Bus Cook's job to get other teams interested in Wallace. And, as his illustrious history suggests, he will do his job well.

Second, Wallace is a rare combination of production, youth, and no character red flags in a league that values deep-threat and playmaking ability on offense secondly perhaps only to top-flight quarterback play.

So, again, there will be a market of multiple teams vying for Mike Wallace. (The Dolphins understand this and I suppose that's one reason they have a fallback plan in Jennings if Wallace lands elsewhere).

But where?

Indeed, the only team that has been publicly connected to Wallace is the Dolphins. I assume Dolphins staffers that read this blog regularly will cringe at that last line. The Dolphins don't love having their business plans known when no other team's plans are quite so public.

Well, allow me to remove the veil from some of the other teams that might be in on the Mike Wallace sweepstakes:

This list is taken in order of teams that could be mutually interested in and interesting to Wallace.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Surprised? You shouldn't be. The Colts had a fine passing game last year with the steady improvement of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the sudden grasp at stardom by South Florida product T.Y. Hilton. Add to the that the veteran quality of Reggie Wayne and you have a solid core for a passing game. But ... Wayne is 34 and will be 35 in November. He's not going to play forever. And the Colts, while good at throwing the football, can certainly be better with a 27-year-old (in August) Wallace that would help make that passing offense formidable. By the way, the Dolphins are thrilled they will have approximately $36.5 million in cap space to pursue Wallace. It's the fourth most cap space in the NFL, not counting the likely re-signing of Brian Hartline. Well, Indianapolis has an estimated $43.5 million in cap space, which is the third most of any NFL team.

2. Seattle Seahawks: They surprised everyone because rookie quarterback Russell Wilson burst onto the scene and turned them into a playoff team. But it happened while the club had obvious need to improve on the outside as witnessed by the fact the offense was 27th in the NFL in passing. That's lower than the 26th-ranked Dolphins. I grant you, Sidney Rice is a good player and Golden Tate is improving. But Sidney Rice and Mike Wallace with Tate in the slot? Much better. The Seahawks don't have the same kind of cap space that either Miami or Indy do. They have approximately $17 million. But they have something that is invaluable: Moxie, aggressiveness and a belief that they must improve significantly to overtake the San Francisco 49ers.

3. Minnesota Vikings: The Dolphins privately see them as a significant threat. Their passing game is aching for a playmaker because Percy Harvin's status is uncertain and even with Harvin in the fold, the offense was pedestrian last year through the air, ranking 31st out of 32 teams. The problem for the Vikings, however, might not be their eagerness to get Wallace but rather Wallace's eagerness to go to Minny. Of the three teams I've already mentioned as possible suitors for Wallace, which has a worse quarterback situation than Minnesota? Answer: None. The Vikings' Christian Ponder is considered a solid game-manager. Yes, his stats were better than Ryan Tannehill's. But most NFL people would allow that Tannehill has better upside potential. The Vikings do have things in their favor, no doubt. They play on turf and indoors. They have a great, great player in Adrian Peterson and he can be used not only as an enticement but as a recruiter. And they did make the playoffs last season. But with $15 million of cap space today, are they one wide receiver away from being a Super Bowl contender? That's a question they will have address internally.

4. Houston Texans: Wallace would love to play there. It's closer to his home turf than most other teams. The Texans are clearly a very good team. Andre Johnson would be a great, great, great player to have in the same huddle. And the Texans need to upgrade at WR. But the problem is the Texans have constraints. They are only $7 million under the cap. They have other players such as Connor Barwin and Glover Quin that are free agents but they want back. It's a stretch -- a dangerous one for everyone else if the Texans pull the trigger.

5. New England Patriots: A Dolphins' fan nightmare, I know. The Patriots have great quarterback play, have great seam threats in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and they clearly need a deep threat because Gronkowski led the team with a 14.4 yard per catch average among players with more than 10 catches. The Patriots also have enough cap space with $25 million. They have the urgency with Tom Brady turning 36 in August, and they too have the moxie. Remember, this is the team that added Aqib Talib when no one else was really interested. This is the team that traded for Randy Moss in 2007. There is also little doubt they can pitch to Wallace that he'll be close to playing for a Super Bowl ring every year he's on the team -- something most of the other teams can say, but probably not as believably. Still, adding a super high-priced player while other players, including Wes Welker and Sebastian Vollmer, are unsigned would be a major gamble. The Patriots might decide picking Tavon Austin at the bottom of the first round might be a more cost-effective move.

6. Cincinnati: The Bengals have been to the playoffs the past two seasons and gone one-and-done. The reason is clearly that quarterback Andy Dalton is solid but not great. He's not elite. So how does one upgrade the passing game that already has outstanding wide receiver A.J. Green? I suppose you can add Wallace and turn this into the most dangerous receiver duo in the NFL. Sounds good, right? Meh. The Bengals have players they need to lock up in free agency including offensive tackle Andre Smith and linebacker Rey Maualuga. Still, the Bengals have the second-most cap space of any NFL team with $45.2 million. So they can try for Wallace. If they wish.

7. Cleveland: They have $46.6 million in cap space, which is the most in the NFL. They have a great need for a playmaker. I suppose they have a desire to stick it to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, for which Wallace has played. But ... They don't have a quarterback. They don't have any sort of organizational stability, as they just hired a new coach and general manager (again). And they don't have a prayer unless they intend to vastly overpay.

Sleeper? San Diego has only $7 million in cap space and seems to be in rebuild mode with a new coach and general manager. But the Chargers have Phillip Rivers and a need to reverse the trend of steadily losing talent, particularly of the playmaking variety on offense.

The scramble begins March 9. 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

hartline stinks

DON't DO IT MIAMI HARTLIN IS A BUM.

"Still, adding a super high-priced player while other players, including Wes Welker and Sebastian Vollmer, are unsigned would be a major gamble."

Mando,

Come on...NE is going to shell out 11-12 Million a year for Mike Wallace??? Not happening. They don't do this!!!

This team has alot of needs. I want Wallace but if hartline gets $6 per, Starks $8.5 & Wallace $11?

That leaves about 11 mil in space left & would still need 2 starting CB's, a starting safety, a starting OT, and a starting TE.

It's becoming more obvious that the cap space we have is simply a result of expired contracts, not good cap manegment.

If you don't want 5 rookie starters this year, you'd need about another $25-30 mil in cap space to fill the starting spots with compotent NFL caliber players.

WNP:

WHAT IS TRUE IS HARTLINE IS A BUM OF A WIDEOUT

"This team has alot of needs. I want Wallace but if hartline gets $6 per, Starks $8.5 & Wallace $11?"

LOL,

In the case of Hartline & Wallace, there will definitely be large signing bonuses involved--which don't count against the cap--so the cap hit won't be as much in 2013

B/c Starks got the franchise that counts for the full amount against the cap BUT they could reach a deal with him. I also expect some contracts like Dansby's will be reworked to clear additional cap space.

WNP:

WHAT IS TRUE IS HARTLINE IS A BUM OF A WIDEOUT

Justin,

How can you possibly call Hartline a 'bum???'

1 td = 7 m.
lmao

why is everyone hating on hartline?? hes a great number 2 receiver.

WNP @ 2:09 add to the fact that Brady's long passing ability seems to have gone the way of the dodo and Wallace is not a fit in NE.

People really haven't noticed yet but Brady passing deep is not that effective.

Bonuses do count against the cap, they are just amortized over the life of the contract.

Let's hope that one of the seven outbid the Dolphins. Whomever overpays for Wallace's services is doomed to failure. Wallace is neither a great football player nor a leader and if he instantly becomes one of your highest paid players it will destroy your team. I'm hopeful that Jeff Ireland isn't as foolish as some Dolphin fans and media.

All I know is once FA opens, Wallace better be on a plane to Miami!!

IF WE RESIGN HARTLINE WE WILL BE DOOMED FOR FAILURE.

I THOUGHT WALLACE HAD A SUPERBOWL RING.

You thought wrong Justin. No rings for Wallace. Why would it matter anyway? He still wouldn't be a great player.

Lol, Bowe's cap hit on his new contract for this year is 4 million. Did u not read the last blog?? We just subtract the contract # but that is not how it works. If contracts are done right, we can sign every single need this year with the cap money we have.

You guys hear about that kid from N. Iowa that ran a 4.19? Can't play worth a lick but man, that's fast. As fast as Bo. But Bo was a big, big man.

SLAM:

HARTLINE IS A BUM.

HE's NOT EVEN A GOOD NUMBER 4.

6 TDs IN 4 YEARS.

STARTING 3 OF THOSE YEARS AND ONE YEAR AS THE GO TO GUY.

NEED I SAY MORE.

You don't need to say more Justin because every time you do you sound even more stupid than before. That's hard to do but somehow you manage to do it.

Armando,
Remember Alvin Harper? He was his era's Mike Wallace. Big, fast, productive. A great compliment to Michael Irvine, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman. The Tampa Bay Bucs signed him for the same reasons everyone here on this Blog wants the Dolphins to sign Mike Wallace. Guess what? He flopped when he had to be the # 1 guy.
In Dallas he caught 124 passes had 18TD's and avg. 19.6 per reception over 4 years. The next 4 years he caught67 passes for 3 TD's and 13.0 per catch. I would NOT get into a bitting war for Mike Wallace.

yea who has been throwing him the ball moron?? He just became the primary guy this year.

Mark in Toronto,

Outside of the 2007 season, Brady's deep ball has never been very good. It's had moments, but two thirds of his passes 25 or more yards down the field don't come within a yard of his receiver, let alone drop into his arms.

Wallace in New England would be amusing because he would do little more than disappoint.

We need playmakers has been traded to the Jets blog for a pair of pylons and 1 sweaty gym sock!

WOW!!!!!!

We didn't get fair value for WNP.... #fireland!!!!

Frank, glad I'm not the only one who sees this...

so my question is this, why is it only the Ravens choke up NE's vaunted short passing game???

We seem to give their WRs and TEs ten yard cushions seemign to fear the long pass. But Brady is not a good deep passer ...

STUPID:

IF YOU GET OPEN YOU GET THE BALL.

6 TDs IN 4 YEARS.

LOL.

HE's THE BEST.

IN YOUR SMALL WORLD

Hartline is a good guy to have on your team for various reasons. However he is NOT a #1 guy. He is a marginal #2. But he is still young and might get better with Tannehill.

haven't been here in weeks. did i just read something about david garrard in the pages of this newspaper?

you've gotta be flipping kidding me.

1 TD ALL YEAR?

1 F-ING TD?

ALL YEAR?

3 YAC AVERAGE.

WOW.

AND HE DIDN't MAKE THE PROBOWL WITH THAT AND 1 TD?

SOUNDS LIKE PROBOWL MATTERIAL TO ME.

WHO THROWING THE BALL.

COME ON.

THE BALL IS IN THE AIR YOU CATCH THE BALL.

FIRST YOU NEED TO GET OPEN.

That is all.

Out.

AND HE WOULDN't GOT THAT ONE IF NOT FOR THE DEFENSE BLOWING THE COVERAGE THAT LEFT HIM WIDE OPEN.

AND HE STILL BARELY SCORED WITH A 20 YARD HEAD START.

Hartline is a decent #2 receiver, that´s about it. He is not worth $7 mil per year, that´s insane

I see Home is at it again... Pharmacy must be closed... See ya in a few hours when he passes out from the Vodka.....

I would of paid 5 to 5.5 for Hartline. Seven seems a bit much. We will have to see how the contract is structured.

"eryone knows Mike Wallace is the No. 1 free agent wide receiver that will come available on March 12".

Not everyone knows that Armando.....go look back @ the last blog....

I still say miami should wait on paying hartline 6 mil a year(too much) and at the very least see what the market will be for him because its very hard to see some team shelling that kind of money his way for only being a reliable target for moving the chains more than a redzone threat....I think Irefiend is panicking a little bit on trying to work out a deal with him especially if things go sour in FA which they very well could but still I think he overvalues hartlines ability as a playmaker....

Everyone here should keep in mind that the local folk's telling us that Mike Wallace is a number 1 receiver in this league are the same folks that wanted the Dolphins to sign Donovan Mcnabb, Vince Young, Kyle Orton and Mike Flynn. However, as we all know there is no column ever written or a post put forth on a blg to take responsability for insane suggestions. We just move on to the next topic as if we know the awnser to all.

REGGIE BUSH HAS MORE TDs CATCHES THAN HARTLINE.

LANE AND MOORE MATCHED HARTLINES TDS.

A FULLBACK

AND A BACKUP.

PLEXICO HAD MORE TDS THAN HARTLINE AND ONLY CAUGHT 3 PASSES ALL YEAR.

YEAH WE REALLY NEED HARTLINE.

Albert....

Who do you want...what's your plan....lets put ONE of your MANY names to it....

cadalac-deville
albert
cuban menace
price master

and I forgot the rest of your other stupid names....to many for any sane person to care about...or remember....

But by ALL MEANS....tell us what you would like to when FA starts.....who do you want to sign.....

I'll go 1st....

Sign Wallace....

NO to Hartline (sounds like I will be wrong)

Get another 2nd tier WR in FA...sure hands....and can get YAC...

find a pass Rusher Opposite Wake.....

Bring in serious competition @ QB.....don't hand Tanne the job (oh...and I didn't love the Tanne pick @ # 8).....

thats me....

nice to meet you....whats your plan....


Wallace has less calculated risk than any other FA WR out there. We take him for 11.5/yr against the cap. We stage our future around the best. I don't see any other proven play maker out there. Go for Cordelle Patterson while your at it. The CB's will need to be picked up in the draft. I want to see this offense back to the top 10. Let's quit floundering.

Wow Justin, I get the feeling you don't like Hartline. Get off it already. No he isn't a number 1 but he would be a very good number 2 if we added a seam threat tight end and a true number 1 with some speed. All the guy did was catch everything that hit his hands and forget the fact Tannehill missed him several times when he was wide open going into the end zone. 6 million a year seems a little high but for 5 million sign him and don't look back. He is the exact kind of player the Pats would snatch up and utilize for the next 5 or 6 years like they did with Welker.

personally I would be happy with wallace, Rookie WR, and Bess, and signing a FA TE like Cook or Keller....to me a rookie like Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, or guys like Patten or Swope can show enough in capablilty to make people in miami forget Hartline real fast....

Kris, I absolutely agree on having a Backup plan for tannehill, with moore most likely gone, its going to leave miami in a binding situation with Devlin as your #2 guy...i know garrard has expressed interest in coming back, but there really arent many options miami will have at looking for a suitable guy to take over for tanny if he goes down...

Cassel??Curtis Painter??Vince Young??...i mean those guys arent exactly going to take the team anywhere anyways...im afraid it really rests on tannehills shoulders now going foward into next year....

It's sad that the only way we can bring in high quality players lately is to pick them off other teams rosters. After they have put on allot of mileage or when teams no longer deem them worthy.

For once, it would be nice to draft quality players & have them here long term, not rented & not have to overpay all the time.

JUSTIN CREDIBLE IS A CAPS LOCK ABUSING BUM! WHEN YOU USE ALL CAPS, IT ONLY MAKES YOUR STUPID POSTS MORE OBVIOUSLY STUPID.

Had to be done. Especially after he wrote "NEED I SAY MORE?" and then actually continued to say more because he still can't effectively make his point.

Sometimes, when I read fellow Dolphins fans silly and uninformed comments on these blogs (Assuming that they're fans. They certainly don't sound like it) it makes me sad that I share this team in common with them. Seriously, some of you only seem to exist to criticize every single move the team makes. Every. Single. Move.

I'm up for waiting to see what happens next.

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT WALLACE WILL BE IN HIGH DEMAND AND EVERYONE INCLUDING WALLACE KNOWS HE IS THE DOLPHINS #1 TARGET. WHAT IT WILL COME DOWN TO IS THE DOLPHINS MEETING WITH HIM FIRST AND OFFERING HIM A CONTRACT HE CANNOT REFUSE AND MAKING ASSURANCE THAT IF HE DOES NOT LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS AFTER FIRST HALF OF CONTRACT THEY CAN THEN MOVE ON WITHOUT HIM (BUY OUT). OF ALL THE CITIES THAT COMPETES FOR WALLACE WHICH CITY COMPARES TO S BEACH ? NONE! GIVE THIS MAN THE ROYAL TREATMENT,INVITE WADE & LEBRON AND THE ONLY PROBLEM THEN WILL BE WHO WEARS # 17. I THINK THE DOLPHINS ARE THE TEAM TO BEAT ! I JUST HOPE JEFFY DOES NOT SCREW IT UP WITH DUMB ASS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MAN'S MOTHER ! CLOSE THE DEAL JEFFY! GO DOLPHINS!

I DON't LIKE HARTLINE?

NAH IT's NOT THAT. I DON't DISLIKE HIM AT ALL.

I JUST DON't WANT A PLAYER ON THE TEAM THAT WON't FIGHT FOR EVERYTHING. EVERY YARD, FOOT, INCH OF THE FIELD.

YES HE DOES CATCH THE BALL I WILL GIVE HIM THAT BUT THATS ONLY THE SECOND STEP OF THREE.

FIRST: GET OPEN

SECOND: CATCH THE BALL

THIRD: RUN AFTER THE CATCH

THE THIRD IS WHAT SEPARATES THE GREATS FROM THE GOOD.

HE GOES DOWN WAY TO FAST.

CAN ANY ONE TELL ME WHEN HE BROKE A BIG PLAY BESIDES FROM THE ONE 80 YARD BROKEN PLAY.

HE WILL NEVER TURN A 5 YARD SLANT INT O A 50 TD.

OR A SWING PASS INTO SOMETHING SPECIAL.

NOT SOMETHING YOU WOULD SEE OUT OF HARTLINE.

CATCH AND QUICKLY TACKLED. NOW DOESN't THAT SOUND LIKE A HARTLINE PLAY.

WE WIN BY SCORING POINTS.

1 TD IN 14 OR 15 GAMES HE STARTED.

THAT EQUALS TWO FIELD GOALS.

NO THANX.

Posted by: LOL | March 06, 2013 at 04:03 PM

I'll take FA used players over the steller gems of playmakers Irefiend brings to this team in tersm of the draft any day of the week unfortunatly!!!

SuperPhin.....

I'm with you..If Tanne is "WH WE TOUGHT HE WAS"....Then he will easily win a QB completion with a proven journey man QB....should have it locked up before preseason even starts....its his job to lose.....so whats wrong with a little competition....

Everybody should be better for it.....

lot of draft picks for the Dolphins early this year and there are a lot of solid and fast receivers coming our of college.

I WOULD SAY YOUR NAME BUT YOU DON't COUNT:

I WOULDN't SAY MORE IF YOU READ AND KEPT IT MOVING.

HOWEVER IF YOU SAY SOMETHING TO ME I RESPOND.

IT's CALLED COMMUNICATING.

BEING THAT YOU CHOOSE TO NOTICE MY ALL CAPS I'm DOING MY JOB.

THANX FOR RECOGNITION.

IT FEELS GREAT THAT A BUM LIKE ME HAVE CAUGHT THE EYE OF SUCH A PRESTIGE PERSON LIKE YOURSELF.

I'm not worried tha t Hartline only scored 1 TD, he moved the chains to get in the red zone for a chance to get in the end zone. He's dependable and tanne's favorite target.

Posted by: superPHIN | March 06, 2013 at 04:12 PM

But, that's the problem. If you have to fill many needs via FA all the time, you'll never have a manageable cap.

Only reason our cap is low is because at least 7 starters contracts are up. Let's not kid ourselves. It has lil to do with cap management but, all to do with the timing of all these contracts expiring.

Everyone talks about all the cap space we have but, few teams have as many needs as Miami does. Seriously, how many teams are going into Free Agency with no capable starting WR's, no starting TE, no OT, no Starting CB's and needing a starting safety? Let's not forget the importance of a backup QB in case Tanny goes down.

The teams I can think of with alot of work to do is Jets, Houston & Baltimore. But, 1 just won the superbowl, another has been in the hunt for 2 years & the jets have as bad a track record in personnel as we do.

I'd like to draft & resign our own great players for a change. Not someone elses leftovers.

LOL,
don't forget a DE.

We want only can't miss Players in the Draft, none Others.

We need a rotational DE, not a starter.

I'm worried about filling out the starting lineup with guys NOT named Nolan Carrol, Tyrone Culver, Jeron Mastrud & Nate Garner.


For once, it would be nice to draft quality players & have them here long term, not rented & not have to overpay all the time.

Posted by: LOL | March 06, 2013 at 04:03 PM

LOL,

The funny thing is, that may be starting to change...

But in a lot of cases you have to give the rookies time to develope, and after such a long drought there isn't much patience.

Oscar there is a risk with every player

One of the main reason I am a Jennings advocate is the price for Wallace. If wallace and jenning are the same price I only chose Wallace of age. prefer Jennings

personally I would be happy with wallace, Rookie WR, and Bess, and signing a FA TE like Cook or Keller....to me a rookie like Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, or guys like Patten or Swope can show enough in capablilty to make people in miami forget Hartline real fast....

Posted by: superPHIN | March 06, 2013 at 03:56 PM

agreed

The problem here is that Ireland can't predict the future. Let's say he lets Hartline walk and test the market. He tries to get Wallace he goes else where. Jennings could go else where. Now he is going to be forced to sign someone he might not of wanted. As well as feeling he has to take a WR early in the draft.

He has a lot on the table. He must have plan A B C D E ready for all this. I wish FA was after the draft it would be easier.

1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.