Could Mike Wallace Become A Bengals Option?
Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; dMiami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) runs the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
60 million guaranteed, that is the number the Miami Dolphins and Ndamukong Suh agreed upon earlier this week. While the deal cannot officially be signed until Tuesday, it begs the question, could this mean the end of wide receiver Mike Wallace?
Mike Wallace was rumored to be on the way out as a cap casualty in the last few weeks, but now with all the money Miami has wrapped up in Suh, it may mean Wallace is already on the chopping block.
Suh is reportedly getting ready to sign a six-year/$114 million contract with Miami. It is being reported as well that there is $60 million guaranteed. Of the $114 million, $60 million will be paid over the course of the first three seasons. For a team that was worried about cutting talent to save its cap, it added quite a heavy expense.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals are in dire need of a deep threat. If the price tag on Mike Wallace drops, it could be a match made in heaven. With less than 900 yards last season, there aren’t many teams likely to offer Wallace what Miami gave him initially. The best asset to Wallace’s game is his speed and hence, ability to run by anyone in the secondary.
Wallace’s price would need to drop significantly for Cincinnati to consider him. Cincinnati has had its cap number reported anywhere from $35 to $40 million dollars. The official number has been reported at $36.5 million by ESPN’s Coley Harvey. However, that number is quite deceiving.
$8-10 million will be set aside for draft selections, which leaves only $26.5 to $28.5 remaining. $3.5 for signing restricted free agents, and another $3.5 for offseason workout and injury costs. Taking you down to $19-21 million. Now the Bengals need to re-sign their own and add some depth. Rey Maualuga and Mike Nugent have already signed their extensions. They take up roughly $9-10 million of the remaining funds. You can see that money disappears quickly, and this all before the team attempts to re-sign Clint Boling and maybe sign some undrafted free agents.
This leaves about $9 to $12 million left for free agency. Mike Wallace under his current would cost every bit of that. So with a significant price drop, he could be in the cards for Cincinnati though he hasn’t been cut, yet.
If Wallace does get the axe, he is definitely worth a look-see. Because of his speed and big play ability, teams would be wary of rolling the additional man towards A.J. Green. It would open the other side of the field up. It should be noted that most of Andy Dalton‘s career interceptions come from throwing towards Green.
With another reliable target whom an opposing defense would have to account for at all times, it would definitely open things up for Green on the opposite side, not to mention the additional mismatches and space for Eifert underneath.
By the way, the effect it could have on the running game with Jeremy Hill is mind boggling imagining where he’d be with one less man in the box. Mike Wallace deserves a look if he ends up a free agent.