NFL: Grading the Most Meaningful Free Agent Signings

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Miami Signs Mike Wallace

In 2012, Mike Wallace caught eight touchdowns and caught 64 passes for 836 yards. However, the Miami Dolphins overpaid for his services.

December 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) runs after a pass reception as Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Manny Lawson (left) defends during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Cincinnati Bengals won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace is a talented wide receiver who thrived in Pittsburgh. In 2010, Wallace averaged a remarkable 21 yards per catch, as he had 1,257 receiving yards. Over his four-year career, Wallace averages 1,011 receiving yards per season, which is very good.

While Wallace was just 47th with 276 yards after the catch, he averaged 4.3 yards after the catch per reception. He is a deep threat who had five receptions of 37 or more yards, including an 82-yard catch in Week 5. Wallace can aid Ryan Tannehill and help the Dolphin offense in their quest to the playoffs.

Tannehill has a strong arm, so he can get the ball to Wallace. However, Tannehill is young, and he is entering his fourth year as a quarterback (he started his college career as a wide receiver). Because Tannehill is raw, there will likely be some bumps in the road in the relationship between the two.

What does that mean? The Dolphins won’t succeed instantly because of this signing.

However, this signing will make the Dolphins better as a team, even if his $60 million dollar contract was way too high. Tannehill can extend plays on the run, and that will help Wallace, who thrived in a similar situation with Ben Roethlisberger.

Wallace isn’t going to be great in his first year with Tannehill as the two develop chemistry, and he won’t be great if he isn’t motivated to play. Wallace could have just been working for a contract, and if that’s the case, his contract will severely hurt the Dolphins.

This is a high-risk, high-reward move. Wallace is an extremely talented receiver who can be great if he is motivated, which remains to be seen. He has the talent and has a good quarterback, so the signing makes sense. However, there are a lot of factors that contribute to how this signing plays out for the Dolphins, and that’s not good.

Grade: B