2012 NFL Free Agents: Why the Miami Dolphins Should Pursue Mike Wallace

Nick DeWittAnalyst IMarch 15, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24:  Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs after the catch against the St. Louis Rams during the game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won 27-0.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of talk about Mike Wallace, the star Pittsburgh Steelers receiver, this offseason. He has received the highest qualifying offer from his team and will cost potential suitors a first-round pick if they choose to sign him to a contract.

That’s a steep price to pay, but a speedy receiver with excellent hands, excellent intangibles and game-changing ability seems to be worth the pick.

I thought that St. Louis might get involved, but they didn’t trade down quite far enough for a first-round pick that’s definitely worth the risk.

A team like Miami, however, might just be in the market. They traded troubled receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears and reunited him with Jay Cutler. Meanwhile, that leaves them noticeably vacant at the receiver spot as they attempt to pursue and bag either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn.

Both of those guys will want to see a target they can throw the ball to in the future. After all, both are being pursued by teams that have wide receivers who are more capable than what Miami currently fields.

However, if they sign Mike Wallace, the game changes.

The big names at receiver are already off the free-agent market and there’s only one major lock in the draft (Justin Blackmon). Therefore, Wallace is the best remaining receiver who’s “available” in any way other than a full-out trade.

And his price is definite in terms of draft picks.

Signing Mike Wallace and convincing the Steelers, who have cap issues of their own, not to match the offer would make Miami a good destination for a quarterback. Mike Wallace would be teamed with running back Reggie Bush and a defense that’s on the upswing.

That’s the kind of team any quarterback wants to take over.

That’s the team Miami needs to become.

For the Steelers, it would give them a pick that would allow them to take Dontari Poe, the stellar defensive tackle out of Memphis. He would be a shoo-in to replace Casey Hampton, the team’s long-time nose tackle.

Pittsburgh has the receiving depth to spare Wallace, as painful as that might be. Tendering him this season doesn’t eliminate the need to give him a long-term deal. Indeed, there’s a lot of moving parts for Kevin Colbert to consider.