Mike Wallace: Teams That Should Pursue Free-Agent Wide Receiver This Offseason

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 04: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores in front of Brian Witherspoon #29 of the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Mike Wallace is looking to be one of the most coveted wide receivers on the free-agent market this season.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers already having Antonio Brown locked up for the long term, Wallace's time in Pittsburgh seems to be drawing to an end.

As Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote:

Now he is an unrestricted free agent and it appears Wallace and the Steelers will part ways in March. They gave him their best offer last year, reportedly averaging $10 million annually over five years, and he turned it down. They stopped negotiating with Wallace once camp started and he did not show up, and quickly turned their attention to Brown. He signed a five-year contract for $42.5 million that included an $8.5 million signing bonus.

Essentially, Brown's contract signaled the end of Wallace's career in Pittsburgh.

It certainly wouldn't be jumping the gun for teams to prepare themselves for the possibility of signing the wide receiver. Despite declining importance in the Steelers offense, Wallace still has a lot to offer a new team. He's a great threat for long throws down the field. Last year, he caught 64 passes for 836 yards and eight touchdowns.

Here's three potential new destinations for Wallace this offseason.


Miami Dolphins

Lost behind the spectacular performances of Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill had a very good season last year. He threw for 3,294 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Tannehill has a very high ceiling. It's imperative that he continue to develop in this early stage of his career.

Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are good enough receivers. The problem is that they only combined for only two receiving touchdowns. Tannehill doesn't have the benefit of a deep threat, as Bess and Hartline excel just as possession receivers.

Adding Wallace would provide Miami with that big-play receiver the team so desperately needs. It would also let the Dolphins avoid drafting a receiver in the first round of the draft. That's particularly good considering the lack of an elite prospect at the position.


Houston Texans

Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league. That much is known. Unfortunately for the Houston Texans, they don't have another top-end wideout to pair with Johnson. Owen Daniels was the second-leading receiver on the team, and he's a tight end. Kevin Walter was third with 518 yards and two touchdowns.

Getting somebody like Wallace would force secondaries to focus on simply more than Johnson. It would give a different dimension to their offense. When you combine Wallace with Johnson, Matt Schaub and Arian Foster, you have one of the deadliest offenses in the AFC.

Much like the Dolphins, signing Wallace would allow the Texans to focus on other areas in the draft. Some experts have had Houston taking receivers like Tavon Austin or Robert Woods at the end of the first round.


Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are themselves likely losing a high-profile free-agent wide receiver this offseason in the Dwayne Bowe. Like Wallace, Bowe's final season with Kansas City didn't exactly end too well. There's also the fact he was placed on injured reserve to end the 2012 season.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com hypothesizes that the Chiefs and Wallace would make a good pairing. He wrote:

New Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid could have his eyes on Wallace as a DeSean Jackson-style game-breaker if Dwayne Bowe isn't re-signed.

Should Bowe be moved out, Kansas City will be in need of a No. 1 target. The drop-off from Bowe to Jon Baldwin and Dexter McCluster is pretty steep.

The Chiefs might be drafting Geno Smith or another franchise quarterback to replace Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn. In order to help a rookie QB's development, he's going to need a steady top receiver.