It is almost time for NFL owners to get their checkbooks ready.
The free agency period officially begins on March 13, and this year's free agent class is loaded with big names at every position.
While some franchises like the New England Patriots tend to stay on the conservative side and build their roster through the NFL Draft, others such as the Redskins or Philadelphia Eagles have notoriously overspent to acquire headline names, only for the results on the field to be disastrous.
With that in mind, here are two players who are locks to get overpaid next month:
There are two essential ingredients to win a Super Bowl in today's NFL: a great quarterback, and a great receiving corps.
At age 26, Mike Wallace is entering into the prime of his career and has already established himself as one of the best receivers in the league. A fast wide receiver is an option that every team desires, so expect Wallace to land a huge contract wherever he goes.
After Santonio Holmes departed Pittsburgh, Wallace quickly established himself as Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target. In four seasons with the Steelers, Wallace amassed 32 TD's and over 4,000 yards.
Wallace's best attribute is his ability to vertically stretch the field against any opposing defense with his speed, and he is also a viable option in the red zone.
However, there is also some baggage that comes with Wallace. He ended last season on injured reserve for the Steelers with a leg injury, failed to reach 1,000 yards receiving, and only had two games where he broke the 100-yard receiving mark.
According to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, Wallace will be looking to strike a massive deal when free agency ensues. Wesseling writes:
The Steelers have no plans to slap Wallace with the franchise tag after he reportedly turned down an offer in the five-year, $50 million range last offseason. Considering his unique combination of talent, speed and youth, the organization does, however, expect other teams to value Wallace at that level.
If Wallace already turned down a five-year, $50 million deal, the sky is the limit for what his demands will be in free agency. Only a handful of teams are far enough under the salary cap to even have a realistic shot at signing the star wideout.
Based on the salary cap, Indianapolis is one possible destination for Wallace. The Colts are $46 million under the cap and reached the playoffs in Andrew Luck's rookie season. The thought of Luck throwing to Wallace and Reggie Wayne would give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares.
After completing one the greatest postseasons by a quarterback in NFL history, the Super Bowl MVP has rightfully earned himself a massive payday.
Flacco was merely decent in the regular season, finishing with 22 TD's, 10 INT's, 3,817 yards, and a passer rating of 87.7.
The playoffs were an entirely different story for Cool Joe. He threw 11 TD's, had a passer rating of 117.2, and threw zero interceptions. Oh, and he also defeated Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in consecutive weeks.
According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, all indications are that Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, is pushing to finalize a ground-breaking deal for the 28-year-old quarterback. Sessler writes:
The Ravens find themselves in a bind. Unable to reach what would have been a much more affordable deal for Baltimore last summer, Linta continues to bang the drum on making Flacco the richest player in NFL history. This could get interesting.
As impressive as Flacco was over the past month, a four game sample size does not justify making him the highest-paid player in league history. Our last memory of Flacco is watching him raise the Lombardi Trophy, but let's look at the bigger picture:
Currently, Baltimore is $15.7 million under the salary cap. Although that gives them wiggle room to negotiate with their star quarterback, the Ravens might have trouble retaining other free agents in Paul Kruger and Ed Reed.
Flacco is a very good player, but he has never thrown for more than 4,000 yards in a season or had a year where his QB rating exceeded 95. His complete body of work is no match against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees.
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