Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington
Mike Wallace is indeed on the verge of becoming a Miami Dolphin, I'm told. He's taking a physical. The sides have reached an agreement.2013-3-12 20:26:58
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 13 at 8:33 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
The Miami Dolphins have confirmed the blockbuster signing of star wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphins
The ink is dry and it's official. Please welcome @Wallace17_daKid to the Miami Dolphins!2013-3-13 02:07:11
---End of update---
UPDATE: Tuesday, March 12 at 5 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
More contractual details continue to emerge for Wallace's deal with the Dolphins. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the deal is for five years and $65 million:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Deal for Dolphins WR Mike Wallace came in at 5 years, $60 million, $30 million guaranteed.2013-3-13 09:40:07
NFL's Around the League Twitter feed first reported that Wallace will receive "roughly $30 million" in guaranteed money:
Around The NFL @AroundTheNFL
. @JeffDarlington reports Mike Wallace has reached agreement with Dolphins. Roughly $30 million guaranteed. Bam. #freeagency2013-3-12 20:31:36
---End of update---
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports that it will be a five-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million:
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
Mike Wallace has agreed to terms with the Dolphins on a five year deal, expected to average in $12M/yr range2013-3-12 20:37:49
Wallace is coming off a down season by his standards, but still racked up 64 catches for 836 yards and eight touchdowns. It marked the first time since his rookie season that he failed to reach the 1,000-yard plateau.
That said, the allure of Wallace is obvious. He's a marquee deep threat with a terrific track record for somebody who's only been in the NFL for four seasons. Eight touchdowns being considered a down season is the mark of a special player.
The other positive about inking him is the fact he's just 26. A lot of big-name free agents on the market this year are older than Wallace, which means they may already be past their primes. Wallace should still have a handful of peak seasons left.
His ability to stretch a defense with elite speed allows him to fit in any offensive scheme. Furthermore, he's been forced to become a more complete receiver over the past few seasons since the Steelers had so many wideouts with similar skill sets.
It forced Wallace to adapt, so he's far more polished when it comes to route-running now than he was when he got drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2009 draft.
Signing high-profile free agents always comes with a hefty dose of risk. That's especially true for a player like Wallace, who relies heavily on his speed to make most of his plays.
But Wallace is worth the investment. He's still young, virtually eliminating any concerns about losing his speed at this point, and it has allowed him to avoid a lot of big hits during his career. He doesn't have the same wear and tear as a possession receiver.
It all adds up to a risk worth taking. Now Wallace just has to live up to the hype.