Mike Wallace is the third-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL based on average salaries in 2013. He's going to a new offense with a new system after signing with the Miami Dolphins this offseason.
Wallace's production has slipped each year since 2010 in terms of receiving yards. In 2010 he finished fifth in the NFL with 1,257 yards, in 2011 he finished 11th with 1,193 yards and then in 2012 he finished 34th with 836 yards.
There are many reasons for this and it's not the end-all, be-all to how effective Wallace is as a receiver. But he also won't have two-time Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger throwing him passes in Miami.
That's not a slight on second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but there's going to be some growing pains as Wallace comes into a new situation and when a team gives you $27 million guaranteed, you need to figure it out quickly. The Dolphins have also put a considerable amount of faith in second-year left tackle Jonathan Martin, as well. Martin's ability to step in and be effective in protecting Tannehill will affect Wallace's impact.
Wallace's game is built on speed and getting down the field. If Tannehill doesn't have the time to allow him to get down the field, your biggest offseason acquisition has been neutralized by your inability to keep your quarterback upright. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus touched on Wallace's abilities to run different routes.
Wallace still has enough deep speed to scare any corner he comes up against, and may be able to run the top off a defense like no other receiver, but he has never developed the ability to run a complete route tree, and is limited by the number of routes he can effectively run.
You have a receiver whose game is almost entirely dependent on his ability to get over the top of a defense and you have a question mark in protecting your quarterback. This isn't a good combination.
The Dolphins have completely revamped the weapons on offense for Tannehill, losing three of their top four targets from last season. Davone Bess was traded to the Cleveland Browns, Anthony Fasano signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent and Reggie Bush signed with the Detroit Lions as well.
The Dolphins added former St. Louis Rams receiver Brandon Gibson to pair with Wallace and re-signed Brian Hartline. Wallace will make an impact for the Dolphins in 2013, but it's not going to justify that contract and it'll leave Dolphins fans hoping that they'll figure it out by 2014.