Mike Wallace: Teams That Should Take a Chance on Embattled WR
As we approach the 2013 period of NFL free agency, one of the hottest names on the open market is wide receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace led the NFL in receiving yards per game in 2009 and 100-yard games in 2010.
The question is, where should he end up now?
Wallace has spent the past four seasons playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With players such as Antonio Brown rising up the depth chart, however, Wallace appears to have become expendable within the organization.
So where should he go?
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
In two short years, Cam Newton has become one of the most promising quarterbacks in the NFL.
The issue for Newton, however, is that he doesn't have a go-to second receiver. As Steve Smith continues to age, those options become all the more scarce.
By acquiring Mike Wallace, however, Newton would have an elite downfield option to stretch the field.
During an interview with NFL.com, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera subliminally stated that the team is interested in pursuing Wallace.
"You're warm, but you know, what's going to be interesting is how things unfold once we get to March 12," Rivera said.
If Carolina is smart, it'll be more than a warm guess.
They'll lock Wallace up.
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Cleveland Browns are likely to target Mike Wallace come free agency.
Wallace is well-versed in what it takes to work through the brilliant defensive schemes of the AFC North. For that reason, it'd only be rational for Cleveland to believe he can do it with a new team.
More importantly, the Browns would be filling a major void by bringing in their first Pro Bowl-caliber wide receiver since Braylon Edwards.
Edwards last made the Pro Bowl in 2007. Since then, no Brown has topped the 1,000-yard plateau.
Wallace is a need.
Kansas City Chiefs
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
With the Kansas City Chiefs completing a trade to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers, according to ESPN, their passing offense should improve.
The key to making it work, however, is surrounding Smith with offensive weapons.
Running back Jamaal Charles will continue to produce, but the Chiefs need wide receivers.
Even if they are to re-sign Dwyane Bowe, there would be no harm in creating depth. More specifically, there is no reason to avoid the label of elite.
That's exactly what Kansas City's wide receiver crop would be if Bowe and Wallace played together.
The financial aspect would be difficult, but Wallace is a player they must target. Regardless of who lines up opposite Wallace, he and Smith could space the field well together.
Under Andy Reid, one has to believe that Wallace's speed would be utilized well.
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Percy Harvin is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL.
Whether he's lining up at wide receiver or running back, you know that something special is going to happen when Harvin touches the ball.
For that matter, he can even make magic by returning punts or kickoffs.
With that being said, the Vikings have been a quality receiver away from legitimacy for quite some time. It's about time that they fill that void.
Who better to go after than Mike Wallace?
There could be players that better fit the ideal mold of a Vikings receiver, but Wallace is an elite downfield threat.
Every ball he touches seems to go for big yardage, which is exactly what Minnesota needs to expand the field for running back Adrian Peterson.
A Wallace and Harvin perimeter sure sounds lethal.
St. Louis Rams
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
The St. Louis Rams have a solid group of young receivers with undeniable upside.
Unfortunately, they lack an explosive veteran who can be a consistent target for quarterback Sam Bradford.
Mike Wallace could be that player.
Bradford has all of the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. With that being said, we're asking the same question with every passing season.
When will the Rams provide him with a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver?
Wallace could put an end to the wait and take a borderline postseason team to the next level.