Wow, now this is interesting. The New England Patriots are indeed interested in Miami Dolphins target and Pittsburgh Steelers impending free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, and this news comes to us from the Miami Herald’s excellent beat writer Armando Salguerro. He tweeted that an agent told him the Patriots have “some interest” in Wallace.
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The Patriots could definitely use a guy like Wallace to stretch the field, and signing Wallace would all but guarantee Brandon Lloyd‘s release. The topic of Lloyd’s future is an interesting one, and I have always thought the “erratic behavior” angle is exaggerated- it is a very small piece of the picture. The real reason why Lloyd could be released is if the Patriots find a better wide receiver on the outside, and Wallace fits that bill. There would be little sense in keeping Lloyd after signing Wallace to a lucrative deal.
What I find interesting is the fact that the Patriots have “some interest” in Wallace, per the agent. Wallace is a very limited player, and he will be easy to overpay. While he is an excellent deep threat with his speed, Wallace has subpar hands, can’t run routes, and is really just a player who you say “Hey, go as long as possible and we’ll chuck it to you 50 yards downfield.” Wallace, in my opinion, is the classic “glory player” who fills highlight reels and stat sheets, which thus makes him easy to overpay.
That said, Mike Wallace would add a whole new dimension to the Patriots passing attack with his ability to stretch the field vertically. The Pats need that, but Wallace is also going to seek as much money as possible- it will probably be too much money. I think the Pats are going to go after Wallace, but the “some” indicates that his cost could be a big issue.
Another dynamic to examine here is the relationship between Wallace and the Miami Dolphins, and I have heard analysts say that the Pats could try and jack up the price for Wallace to make it harder for their AFC East rivals to sign him. It’s no secret that the Dolphins top target is Wallace, and the Patriots could do what the New York Yankees did to the Boston Red Sox with that whole Carl Crawford thing and try to get the Dolphins to overpay for Wallace.
But that’s a small issue, and I think the Pats interest in Wallace is real. They do need a guy to stretch the field, and Wallace would be a good signing for this team. However, that outlook quickly changes based on how much money Wallace wants to command, and I hope the Pats proceed with caution- I am sure they will.
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