Dangers of opening wallets for WRs
Mike Wallace has blazing speed that can char a secondary.
Nobody in the NFL caught more passes of 40-plus yards between 2007 and 2011 than Greg Jennings.
They are the two most attractive wide receivers in the upcoming class of unrestricted free agents.
But based upon the history of the position, it may prove a costly mistake to ink either to the big-money contracts both are expected to garner once the signing period begins March 12.
Which player is better to sign?
This is an interesting debate. Wallace is a bigger gamble because the cost will be so great. He is expected to garner a contract equal to or greater than the contract extension Dwayne Bowe signed March 4 with Kansas City.
Rather than risk getting slapped with the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, Bowe inked a reported five-year, $56 million deal with $26 million guaranteed.
At 26, Wallace is three years younger than Jennings and has more upside. The combination of four factors – a new offensive system that emphasized quicker passes, a preseason contract holdout, too many dropped passes and the three-game absence of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger because of a rib injury – contributed to a significant decline in Wallace’s receiving yards in 2012.
A change of scenery could help Wallace rebound in a big way, especially if given more opportunities downfield like during his first three seasons in Pittsburgh.
“I believe he’s going to play well for somebody,” long-time NFL executive and SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst Bill Polian said of Wallace. “I’ve seen enough in him to tell me this guy is a pretty talented play-maker.
“If you want to get on Mike Wallace for dropping balls, Dwayne Bowe is the president of that club. If you’re going to say, ‘Dwayne Bowe is a great receiver,’ well, he drops the ball more than every now and then. So does Mike Wallace.
Is it a fatal flaw? Probably not.”