Tuck: Dolphins Shouldn’t Overpay For Mike Wallace
I know, I know. Miami desperately needs offensive weapons for QB Ryan Tannehill. I also know they have a lot of money to spend. $45, 655, 322 at this moment, to be exact. It doesn’t mean they should just throw it at the best receiver out there to say they did it.
With Dwayne Bowe resigning in Kansas City, the market for receivers has shrunk. Bowe also landed himself a 5-year, $56 million deal, slightly more than what Vincent Jackson got from the Bucs last season. It makes him the 3rd highest paid WR in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
Mike Wallace is younger, and no doubt will want more. I say let someone else give it to him. $60 million is way too much for a player isn’t much more than a one-trick pony. Wallace is a good player who happens to be super fast. He isn’t a chain-mover. He isn’t a go-to guy. He isn’t an annual Pro Bowl player (he’s been selected once). The Steelers aren’t even putting up much of a fight to keep him!
Miami should spend their money, but do it wisely. Wide receiver just so happens to be one of the easiest positions to find diamonds in the rough. You overspend on some positions in the NFL, and receiver just isn’t one of them. It’s too easy to find a Mike Wallace (3rd round) or Greg Jennings (2nd round) or Wes Welker (undrafted) in April. Those are the top free agent wide receivers this year and none came into the NFL with much acclaim.
Truth is, this isn’t a great free agency crop. Miami may be best advised to spend their money on a variety of players addressing multiple need areas. Bring back Jake Long. Sign a Dashon Goldson or William Moore to play safety next to up-and-comer Reshad Jones. Perhaps take a shot at a Dwight Freeney or John Abraham or Osi Umenyiora as a situation pass-rushing end to compliment Cam Wake. Let Sean Smith go, and sign an underrated corner like Greg Toler or Derrick Cox or Bradley Fletcher.
If Wallace or Jennings isn’t affordable, spend your money elsewhere and take a receiver like Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round, or invest in one in a later round. Miami has 5 picks in the first 82 selections, and in addition to their 4th and 5th round picks, are likely to add another in that range in the form of a compensatory pick for DE Kendall Langford leaving last year. So there are plenty of opportunities to look for weapons on the offense. I mean, perhaps even a tight end like Tyler Eifert could be an option in the first round to help the development of Tannehill.
I am all for improving the offense. But that isn’t the only area of need for the Dolphins. There are players you go all-in on. If we were talking about an elite difference maker (ironically they had one in Brandon Marshall, but he was a knucklehead) then you go for it. But I don’t think Mike Wallace is worth making one of the three highest paid receivers in football.