The People vs. Mike Wallace

Court is in session. Damnit Alpha6 and Kdog92, get yourselves under control. (Gavel pound, gavel pound).

Before getting ahead of ourselves and projecting a 7-round mock, please remember that free agency is going to help shape the roster with acquisitions and departures. Unlike the 2011 lockout season, free agency actually comes first and this will be the first step in shaping the new roster, and no position has been more debated and speculated than wide receiver. It's almost assumed among the fan base and nationwide that the Dolphins will be key players in free agency, specifically at the wide receiver position. With around $50 million in cap space, it's hard to make a case that the Dolphins won't make a splash in some variety, and considering our holes at WR, most people look at "the Big 3": Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, and Dwayne Bowe, and draw serious conclusions about who the Dolphins will pursue. My German Shepherd knows that the Dolphins will sign one of "the Big 3" in free agency, despite having only one descended testicle.

(Objection. Relevance?)

Mike Wallace is one of the Phinsiders' favorite WR's to discuss, and many people want to see him in teal and orange (or whatever our new uniforms are going to look like) in 2013. This court is in session to persuade the jury to vote "guilty" on Mike Wallace for counts of aggravated flakiness and 1st-degree one-trick-ponyism. With the court's permission, I'd like to drink a beer first.

Thank you.

Considering the current state of the Dolphins WR situation, it appears that we have a group of possession receivers. Assuming we bring back Brian Hartline....

(Objection. Leading the witness!)

I know it's a big assumption, but if Hartline comes back, we have two sturdy possession receivers in Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. There are things to like about these two, but I think most Phinsiders will agree that our WR corps lacks in certain skill sets that give us variety. In other words, our WR's lack diversity, because they roughly offer the same skill set: good hands, cerebral, good route running, and the ability to get 3rd down receptions. When I think about ways that WR's make plays, there are some serious skill sets that we lack: YAC, deep threats, jump ball situations, and breaking tackles either through force or quickness just to name a few. It would appear, prima facie, that Mike Wallace could at least help solve the "YAC" and "deep threats". Let's take a quick look at the public record, shall we?

Mike Wallace finished with 64 receptions for 836 yards, and 8 TD's. The TD's, specifically, are almost 3 times as many as the combined total of Dolphin WR's last year.

(Objection. Badgering the witness!)

Of the 64 receptions he had, he was targeted 119 times - almost 7.5 times a game. In other words, almost 50% of the time he was targeted, he did not catch it. This is a combination of poor throws, dropped passes, and passes defensed so this statistic has little weight. Thus, let's get to the heart of it: we would bring in Mike Wallace for the "YAC" and "deep threat" as aforementioned.

YAC: Mike Wallace ranked 47th in the NFL in YAC last year. Brent Celek and Brandon LaFell had more.

Deep Threat: Of the 16 games Mike Wallace played last year, he had 6 games where he caught a pass for 20 yards or more. Or roughly 38% of the time. As crazy as it sounds, Brian Hartline had 10 different games where he caught a pass of 20 yards or more. Or roughly 63% of the time. And Hartline sure as hell didn't have more games of 20+ yard catches because he is faster.

Let the court also be reminded that the Steelers, in recent past, have signed LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, and Antonio Brown to contract extensions before their previous contract was up. The Steelers are well-known for locking up key contributors at the earliest possible convenience (usually during training camp because the Steelers do not negotiate in-season). I find it very puzzling that the Steelers would bypass their "stud" in Mike Wallace to offer their #2 WR (Antonio Brown) a handsome contract extension.

Final argument: with the "YAC" and "deep threat" not adding up, and the Steelers passing on a contract extension, Mike Wallace sends huge red flags to me. I know there is still time for the Steelers to re-sign him but, like I said, they usually do that before the final year of a contract if the player is deemed crucial. Although he is insanely fast, the fact that he had so few YAC and so few 20+ yard receptions despite being targeted about 7.5/game is alarming and unacceptable. I see no reason why the Dolphins should invest upwards of $10 million/year on Mike Wallace. It's time for you, the jury, to vote "guilty."

Thank you. Time for another beer. Court adjourned.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.