The Miami Dolphins are sicking of paying wide receiver Mike Wallace fat cash and not getting elite results. Though the star wideout did reel in 10 touchdowns a season ago, he’s gone misused and has not performed up to expectations (or specifically up to his gaudy salary), which has led to him being placed on the trading block. It’s arguable that Wallace is owed too much money ($9.9 million this year alone) to successfully trade away, but it sounds like one way or another he’ll be in a new city in 2015.
We don’t really care if it’s via trade or he gets cut and then signs with someone else. Wallace is still just 28 and can take the top off of defenses, and there are plenty of teams that don’t have even average wide receiver talent – let alone a veteran who has proven he can be a threat. Wallace is still arguably that, so let’s take a look at five teams that could at least consider swinging a big trade or could pay up on the open market should be be released:
Josh Gordon is done for the year due to a suspension and the Browns whiffed last year by not spending an early draft pick on a talented wide receiver. They really have nothing else to get excited about in their passing game and if they’re ever going to give Johnny Manziel any kind of a chance, they have to get some weapons. Wallace can still stretch the field and showed last year he can be a solid possession and red-zone guy, as well. Cleveland probably will prefer to draft new talent, but a shortcut to ensure their offense improves wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.
New England Patriots
No one loves taking chances on lost souls more than Bill Belichick and the Pats still don’t have that down field threat they always crave. Brandon LaFell is decent and Julian Edelman operates out of the slot with the best of them, but New England hasn’t really had a true difference-maker down the field since the days of Randy Moss. Acquiring Wallace could change that. Of course, if they were to land him it’d probably be via free agency, as Miami wouldn’t be too high on handing over a lethal weapon to their bitter AFC East rivals.
Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe is probably on his way out and the Chiefs have nothing else to show for the wide receiver position. There’s no doubt they spend some time on the position in the draft and/or free agency, but why not land a quick fix like Wallace? Wallace doesn’t really mesh with weak-armed Alex Smith, but he’s still talented and would be a shot worth taking for a passing game that lacks a serious play-maker.
If the Panthers really wanted to improve their receiving corps, they would have done it last year. They merely make the list because all they have is Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin is a good big-play and red-zone guy, but he doesn’t have the speed Wallace could bring to the table. Add Wallace to the mix, and suddenly the Panthers could have one of the more dangerous passing attacks in the entire league.
St. Louis Rams
Kenny Britt is a free agent, Tavon Austin has been a bust and Brian Quick is recovering from shoulder surgery. If the Rams didn’t need a wide receiver a year ago (they did), they sure do now. Perhaps an even greater need at the position this time around will cause the Rams to be prisoner’s of the moment and take Miami’s bait. A deep wide receiver draft class probably keeps a trade from happening, but the Rams definitely have a need and should at least be entertaining the thought.
Wild Card: Seattle Seahawks
Seattle traded away Percy Harvin so they could be a little worried about bringing in another prima dona wideout, but Wallace could be worth it if he could liven up a fairly paltry Seattle passing attack. Seattle’s current wide receivers still helped them get to the Super Bowl and Chris Matthews might have broken out as a future star, but they still need an upgrade. Wallace could be the guy to take their offense to the next level.