Not a real Dolphin, although anything is possible. Personally, I’ve always thought of Mike Wallace as more of a gecko.
Even though it’ll certainly be a highly notable signing when it’s finally official tomorrow, Wallace agreeing to terms with Miami will also be the least surprising signing of this free agency period. Especially since right now, highly connected insiders are referring to the Dolphins’ signing of Wallace using the past tense.
Here’s Peter King in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback bible:
Miami didn’t have much, if any, competition for a big-money deal ($11 million or more a year) for wide receiver Mike Wallace.
King’s insider info came just before ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the league-wide expectation is that Wallace’s next place of employment is Miami, and after USA Today reported that — to the surprise of absolutely no one –the Dolphins spent most of their weekend courting Wallace, and making him feel like the greatest person to ever touch a football.
Then there’s the most concrete report from Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post:
We hear from someone we trust that it’s a “done deal” that Wallace will be signing with Miami.
So here and everywhere NFL scribes are having to stop only just short of saying that Wallace has signed with Miami, although there’s little doubt that shortly after 4 p.m. ET tomorrow we can finally write the definitive Wallace to the Dolphins post. It’ll be a signing that works much better now after Brian Hartline was retained, with Wallace able to properly utilize his vertical speed while the defense’s focus isn’t solely concentrated on limiting his rapidly moving legs. As with most pure burners, Wallace is at his best when he’s a sort of 1 (A) option, and not the only top option split out wide.
From a fantasy perspective, it’s difficult to accurately project Wallace’s production in Miami, simply because it’s difficult to accurately project Ryan Tannehill’s development over the offseason. We knew what we were getting with Ben Roethlisberger, but although there’s been promise and potential with Tannehill, there’s also still uncertainty both with him, and the backfield support now that Reggie Bush is set to walk.
Still, at minimum we can expect high-end WR2 numbers with Wallace flanked by Hartline and Devone Bess, and a season with at least 1,000 receiving yards and eight-ish touchdowns (he ranked 17th among all wide receivers in fantasy points per game in 2012). Over his past three years in Pittsburgh, Wallace has scored 26 times while averaging 1,096 receiving yards.
The spending likely won’t end there for a Dolphins front office with enough money to lobby the federal government hard enough that a bill is passed to abolish the Harlem Shake forever. Brandon Gibson is also being targeted as a fallback option at wide receiver, and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Dolphins management has talked to Jared Cook’s representatives. He’s the best available tight end (we’re not counting Tony Gonzalez, because he’s either re-signing in Atlanta, or retiring). Cook would replace Anthony Fasano (also a free agent), and double as a slot receiver, as that’s often where he lined up with the Titans.
He’d be yet another much needed weapon for Tannehill as the young quarterback is groomed, and after Cook had 523 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2012 despite missing three games, he’d be the Dolphins’ first true pass-catching tight end in, well, a while. Fasano is mostly known for his blocking, and his ability to be really big and take up a lot of space in the end zone.