Breaking News - The Miami Dolphins have agreed in principle with free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace on a 5 year deal bringing the former Steeler down south to Florida.
NFL Impact - The Steelers were looking to the future when they decided to sign Antonio Brown to a long-term contract last season, so it was no shock that Mike Wallace never got his deal. And for arguably the #1 free agent on the market, his deal was done quickly. For the past couple of weeks many have speculated, the Dolphins were the likely destination for Wallace.
The Steelers just lost a huge play making threat in Wallace but half of his value comes from a guy that extend plays in the pocket. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best at doing just that, and Mike will miss that extra time he gets running long downfield routes. None-the-less, the Dolphins get the best receiver available to help out second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins who have recently struck out over the past couple of years in free agency just landed a still young and still very talented Mike Wallace. I’m just waiting for the frustration to mount. That day might come as Mike is streaking down the field play after play and he looks back to find Tannehill on his back. One thing is for certain, the Dolphins will need to work on that offensive line, especially with the likelihood of long-time left tackle Jake Long moving on.
Fantasy Spin - While this is a good move for the Dolphins I don’t think this necessarily helps Wallace in terms of fantasy. He needs to have that quarterback that can extend plays like Roethlisberger to let his long routes develop downfield. And I’m not sure if Ryan Tannehill will be that guy this season, especially when he’s about to lose one of the best left tackles around. Time will tell, and maybe they click fast, but I have my doubts. Personally, I will be avoiding Wallace on my draft sheet.
I do think this ultimately helps Ryan Tannehill the most in terms of fantasy. Now with Wallace locked in as the #1 and Brian Hartline signed as the #2, that is a formidable one-two combination. And don’t forget about slot-man Davone Bess, he will still be around to catch 60-70 passes as well.
For the Steelers, this obviously hurts that offense. They are not going to be able to replace Wallace’s skills right away. Maybe they find someone in the draft but Wallace has special talent. And Antonio Brown is not the same kind of player. I would immediately downgrade Roethlisberger a bit and see what moves the Steelers make. The Steelers have a ton of issues on both sides of the ball so it will be interesting to see what happens this off-season in Pittsburgh.