Dolphins Way Over Pay for Mike Wallace
The Dolphins go their prized possession on the first day of NFL free agency brining in wide receiver Mike Wallace signing him to a 5 year $60 million contract. While this should help improve the Dolphins passing game which ranked 27th in the NFL last year and was the biggest weakness on the team it’s no guarantee things will work out, and certainly for this price they are receiving no discount. As a matter of fact I think he is quite overpaid.
Wallace is a good receiver, but not ELITE which is what I would like to believe someone set to make $12 million per year is considered. Obviously Dolphins management would not agree with my thoughts as they see him being in that class, but I just don’t see how. Yes he has tremendous speed down field and can break away from most db’s and if he gets a step on you will take it into the end zone. But, I don’t view him as a complete wideout that can go into traffic and make tough catches, I don’t see him being the type of receiver having a ton of strength to muscle the ball away from other db’s in jump ball situations. Oh and how can we forgot the countless drops he had last year? Unacceptable that often if you want to be paid like an elite reciever.
Based on last year’s NFL contracts for wideouts only three players Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and Calvin Johnson made more then what he is set to receive on average annual basis throughout his contract. No way is Wallace a top 4 receiver, heck I wouldn’t even put him in the top 10. These are the wideouts I would take over him right now in no particular order… Crabtree, Fitzgerald, Colston, Jones, White, Steve Smith, Jackson, Cruz, Bryant, Thomas, Green, Both Johnsons’s, Marshall and Welker. I am not saying all of them are 100% better but at least have to be considered in the same class.
It’s a move that reeks of desperation as the Dolphins are willing to overpay in order to try and help bolster their offence to compete with the Patriots in the division. I personally hate giving big money to wideouts unless they are Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald types once a decade all pro nearly MVP candidates on annual basis. Not a borderline pro bowler who at times couldn’t even be considered the #1 wideout threat on his own team in Pittsburgh. In addition, good wide receivers are only targeted about 8-10 times per game maybe grabbing about 65% of those balls. I could never justify paying a skill player whose impact on the overall game in terms of plays is s o few. Plus, you have to factor in the overall mindset of most receivers who act like diva’s and don’t provide maximum effort when things are not going there way. I am not accusing Wallace of such actions, but it wouldn’t shock anybody if he did. After all he let a perennial contender to make the most money anytime would offer him instead of staying with a contender.
Also let’s not forget a lot of his success came from Roethlisbergers’ big arm down field and ability to extend plays with his toughness not going down. Despite all the talent of Tannehil he isn’t even close to the level of Big Ben and will not be able to get the ball in the hands of Wallace as often which will not get his speed utilized properly. Furthermore, they don’t have the complementary running game Pittsburgh has always had which helps open up a lot of strikes down field with play action fakes.
On an absolute best case scenario Wallace is able to match or improve slightly on his previous year’s performances for the Dolphins get to value in this contract. Otherwise I could see it blowing right up in their face. This situation seems eerily similiar to when they brought in Brandon Marshall who was supposed to serve the same function in the organization. How did that work out?
Hey if the Dolphins were willing to pay Brian Hartline $6 a year I guess Wallace for twice as much money isn’t that bad. Jeff Ireland clearly enjoys overpaying for his #1 and #2 wide recievers. Better hope Tannehil improves fast and you have a plan to figure out the running game to provide balance. Not like Bush was a stud or an everydown back but he has left and nobody has replaced him yet.
So while the Phins appear to be better offensively on paper I am not so convinced it will translate on the field, and certainly for this price it’s not looking good.