The Patriots are obviously looking for a wide receiver to stretch the field and make room for Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez beneath the secondary.
The best option might be someone whose name hasn’t come up all that much yet. Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the fastest WRs in the league, and he has played very well for the Steelers. In 3 seasons, he has averaged over 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns with the Steelers. Put him in the same offense as an all-time great QB like Tom Brady, and we could be looking at some insane production.
Oh, and Bill Belichick likes him.
Wallace runs a lot of stuff besides deep routes now too. He runs a lot of stuff in front of the defenders because they’re playing him deep. They run a lot of crossing patterns where if he catches the ball he just runs away from the defense. It’s not all go-routes. He runs his share of those but he does a lot of other things too. He’s really developed as a receiver. He’s improved a lot from where he was in college in terms of his route technique and it looks like his ability to read coverages and make decisions on different coverage-looks people are trying to give him. He’s done a good job. It looks like he’s improving every week.
He’s a restricted free agent, so the Steelers could technically slap the franchise tag on him. However, the Steelers might not have the money to do that, so they may be forced to let him go. Adam Schefter lists the Pats as one of the teams who could snag him, along with the Bengals, Ravens, 49ers or Chiefs.
The only drawback is that if they sign Wallace, they’d have to give up a 1st round draft pick. But as we know, the Patriots have two first round picks, so it wouldn’t hit them nearly as hard as it would if they only had one. Especially since they’re likely to use a draft pick on a WR at some point anyway, if they don’t sign someone.
Wallace is exactly the kind of player the Patriots need. Let’s see if this deal gets done at some point.