NFL teams are like piranhas. Whenever it looks like young talent might be available, they swarm.
Such is the case with disgruntled Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace. He's a restricted free agent who refuses to sign his tender unless and until the Steelers give him a new deal.
By all accounts, that's not happening.
As the situation deteriorates in Pittsburgh, many began to speculate that a trade could be in order. Despite General Manager Kevin Colbert's insistence that there will be no deal involving Wallace, it's difficult to see many other resolutions (via ESPN's Ed Werder).
Until Wallace is in camp, speculation as to where he could land will continue to run rampant. While there are obvious obstacles, every team in the South could potentially have interest.
The Jaguars and Titans are not likely destinations, but considering the drama surrounding Kenny Britt and the fact that both Kendall Wright and Justin Blackmon are unsigned, they at least deserve a mention.
The two most intriguing spots are Indianapolis and Houston.
The Colts would love to add a dynamic young receiver, but would they have the cap room to fit the new deal that Wallace would inevitably demand?
Considering that they continue to carry Dwight Freeney at a $14 million price tag for this season, they could easily free up the money by moving him or reworking his deal to add an additional year. His salary makes any kind of one for one trade impossible, but if he could be moved to an intermediary, the team could get the money and pick they need to add Wallace.
Currently, they are depending on Austin Collie to stay healthy, and while he looked great early in camp, his health is a constant concern.
The only question for the Colts is if they can move Freeney soon enough and if the Steelers are in fact willing to deal.
The Texans desperately need Wallace. Their receiving situation is a mess, and news that Andre Johnson was taken off the field with a minor injury yesterday is all the more unnerving (via Ultimate Texans).
The problem for the Texans is that cap space is tight, and it's likely to get tighter next year.
As much as they need Mike Wallace, and as attractive as a deal for him that sacrifices a mid-round pick may be, financially the numbers don't add up.
It has to be deeply frustrating for a team that can see the answer to its problems sitting in front of them if they could only find a way to make the salary fit. Wallace would provide an instant upgrade over Kevin Walter, who could then move to the slot role for which his skills are better suited. The team would then have insurance in the event that Johnson suffers another injury.
A trade for Wallace would mean more creative cap work for a team that has been paying the price for big spending in the past. The Texans did a wonderful job this offseason of getting their finances under control, and acquiring Wallace would be a return to the free spending ways that put the team in a bind this year.
With huge deals like Matt Schaub's coming up this offseason, it's unlikely they'll be able to make a move.
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