I'll start off by saying that Mike Wallace's availability is unknown. There has not been any hard evidence to support the notion that the Pittsburgh Steelers want to move him, but much discussion concerning his future has taken place in the past week.
That talk started last Friday, when the Steelers signed their other top receiver, Antonio Brown, to a five-year deal worth $42.5 million. Some speculate that the Steelers would not be willing to give that type of money to two receivers, and therefore would do well to trade Wallace for draft picks.
Giving the speculation some extra momentum is Wallace's current holdout from training camp. He has yet to report, and nobody knows when he will show up. Wallace himself has been very tight-lipped about the whole situation.
Any team in the NFL would love to have Wallace; he's 24 years old, scary fast and has great hands. His stats in his past two seasons are very impressive: 72 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, and 60 receptions for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010.
As expected for a player of Wallace's caliber, many writers and fans have expressed their interest in trading for the All-Pro wideout. Seattle wants him. Washington wants him. Dallas wants him. Indianapolis wants him. In fact, the entire AFC south wants him.
Yesterday I profiled the Dolphins' wide receiver corps and their lack of dynamic talent. Wallace would come in and be the No. 1 receiver, giving the Dolphins an entirely new, exciting look on offense with Wallace and Reggie Bush.
If I'm Miami GM Jeff Ireland, I am absolutely putting in a call to check out what Pittsburgh wants for Wallace. If they insist on a first-round pick, however, I would not be as enticed about a deal. Two second rounders? Done. But that is as much as I would give up.
There are two reasons I'd shy away from giving up a first round pick for Wallace. The first is the fact that Wallace has some legitimate question marks surrounding him. Firstly, the whole holdout situation in the first place is never good. He's still set to make $2.7 million this season. That's not too shabby for a fourth-year NFL player.
The other question mark is his second-half performance last year. After Week 8, he did not have a single 100-yard game and only scored a touchdown in one of those final eight games. What happened during the second half of the year? Did defenses finally figure out how to neutralize his over-the-top speed?
The second reason I'd hesitate to trade away a first-round pick is because of a rather sad fact: it will probably be a very high pick. Let's face it, the odds are against Miami having a good year. I'd be surprised if they won more than six games and could easily see them winning only four.
That means there's a good chance they have a top eight, and possibly top five pick. That means they could take a receiver with a potentially higher ceiling than Wallace, for a fraction of the price. Because let's face it, trading for Wallace would not make Miami a playoff team this year.
So if Pittsburgh demands a first-rounder for him, I don't think I would pull the trigger. At this point, it just would not be worth it.