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Old 02-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target



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Despite being a restricted free agent, Mike Wallace is nowhere near guaranteed to return to Pittsburgh as a Steelers player next year. One alteration to free agency made by the relatively new Collective Bargaining Agreement is that teams can no longer put first- and third-round protections on their restricted free agents.
In the past, restricted free agency rarely ever allowed players to leave their original teams. The last big name to move as a restricted free agency was Wes Welker and even then the Miami Dolphins and Patriots agreed to a trade rather than go through the bidding process. Therefore he essentially didn't move as a restricted free agent.
The Dolphins undervalued Welker at the time as he hadn't played to the level that he has exhibited in New England since then. Mike Wallace in Pittsburgh is a completely different situation.
On first glance, it is more likely for Bill Belichick to start a reality TV series with Chad Ochocinco opposed to the team signing Wallace. However, when you dig deeper into the potential deal, it wouldn't be a surprise for Wallace to become the best deep threat in Boston since Randy Moss.
The Steelers at best can put a first-round tender on Wallace, which is what you would expect them to do. They do have the franchise tag available; however, their lack of cap space will prevent them from using it
. With indications being that the Steelers are expected to be upwards of $20 million over the salary cap next season, it's unrealistic to expect them to work in a commitment of around $10 million for Wallace.
If the Patriots do decide to compete with the Steelers for Wallace's signature, they could easily outbid the Steelers early on. A restricted free agent's original team has 10 days to match any offer sheets that come in. If the Patriots get an early offer in, it could make Omar Khan's, the Steelers' cap manager, job very difficult while trying to manage a roster that needs a lot of work.
With the compensation being a first round pick, the Patriots would only be giving up their 31st overall selection in the 2012 draft for arguably an elite wide receiver. Considering that late round picks are no guarantees, and the team has an earlier first-round draft choice after last year's trade with the New Orleans Saints, losing that pick isn't a big deal.
More importantly than Wallace being considered an elite receiver, his skill set is perfect for the Patriots' offense.
Building an offense is never as simple as getting the best talent and putting it together to overwhelm other teams. In 2007, Tom Brady's best season, the Patriots' receiving corp perfectly complemented each other with Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth stretching the field for Wes Welker to move the chains.
Without a deep threat, it is easier for teams to shorten the field and flood Welker out of the equation. When safeties don't have to respect a deep threat, throwing windows become tighter and defenders are more likely to pick off passes.
If Wallace becomes a Patriots player, defenses will have to respect his deep threat or allow him to hit home runs on a regular basis. Wallace is one of the fastest—if not the fastest—players in the NFL. Simply dropping a cornerback to play off coverage is never enough to contain him.
Some cornerbacks drop upwards of 12 yards deep and even then they generally get safety help over the top. Considering that Wallace can use his speed with the ball in his hands, that gives the Patriots the option of quick passes into the flat that can turn into massive gains.
Or, if they choose to still send Wallace deep, then the best slot receiver in the NFL gets even more space to work underneath the defense.
With Wallace on the outside, the Patriots' matchup offense would become uncontainable. The quartet of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Welker and Wallace would ask too many different questions of defenses and require them to be consistent in all facets of play.
The Steelers' cap issues aren't the only thing working in the Patriots favor.
Outside of Wallace in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have a trio of talented receivers under contract entering next season, as well as Jerricho Cotchery hitting free agency. Veteran Hines Ward is looking to redo his contract and he will almost certainly return. Emmanuel Sanders is returning from injuries to both his feet that reduced his role this year. The Steelers have enough players with Antonio Brown to cover the loss of their main receiver.
The free agent pool of receivers this year for third and fourth choice options represents a lot of value as far as possession pass-catchers go. While the Patriots do need an elite receiver, the Steelers could still have a very talented group of receivers for Todd Haley without Wallace, and instead add someone like Eddie Royal or Cotchery for cheaper.
This would work against the Steelers when trying to retain Wallace because they wouldn't value him as highly as the Patriots would.
Wes Welker is very unlikely to leave the Patriots because he doesn't fit as well in any other offense in the NFL. Once he is signed, Mike Wallace is a legitimate option for the New England Patriots to pursue.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...alistic-target
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

First off if we lose Wallace we will be taking a step back, but if we lose him to the Pats we can just hang it up for a few years, let the Pats when a few championships, then get back at it when Brady retires. Hardly anybody can stop them now, we found out how, but with Wallace stretching the defense and drawing double teams down the field NOBODY will stop them, it will be like when they had Randy Moss, just better because they have better TE's now. I know we have salary cap issues, but it would be suicide for Rooney to let Wallace go to New England, and I doubt he will. He already mentioned re-signing Wallace was a top priority, but not resigning him and letting him go there is completely unacceptable.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

We're going to see a lot of loved veterans go this offseason, but it's probably for the better. Let's just hope a deal is made, and our deep threat is back next year. That's all we can do.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

Said this 2 weeks ago here. We better watch out for Belichek. giving up a 1st rd pick at 31 is nothing for wallace at this point.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

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First off if we lose Wallace we will be taking a step back, but if we lose him to the Pats we can just hang it up for a few years, let the Pats when a few championships, then get back at it when Brady retires.
Seems to me they were supposedly going to win Super Bowl after Super Bowl with Moss too.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

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Seems to me they were supposedly going to win Super Bowl after Super Bowl with Moss too.
True, but lets be serious, they were a miracle catch away from winning one, and Moss left the year after next right? Plus Brady was out all of 2008. (Not a Moss fan so I'm not sure, correct me if I'm wrong). They will be even better though, they didn't have Hernandez and Gronkowski then. You do have a point and maybe I exaggerated a bit, but I don't think by much. Luckily I don't see it happening, we will do what we need to to keep Wallace.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

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True, but lets be serious, they were a miracle catch away from winning one, and Moss left the year after next right? Plus Brady was out all of 2008. (Not a Moss fan so I'm not sure, correct me if I'm wrong). They will be even better though, they didn't have Hernandez and Gronkowski then. You do have a point and maybe I exaggerated a bit, but I don't think by much. Luckily I don't see it happening, we will do what we need to to keep Wallace.
Their big name free agent acquisitions have been pretty much blowing up in their faces lately. Haynesworth was supposedly going to restore their pass rush and Ochocinco was supposedly going to be another major contributor and turn them into an unbeatable juggernaut this past season too. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, is all I'm saying. People continue to say what a cake schedule the Steelers had this past season and that their 12-4 record was a "fraud", well, who exactly did the Patriots beat? The only reason they made it as far as they did is because the Ravens choked again.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

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Their big name free agent acquisitions have been pretty much blowing up in their faces lately. Haynesworth was supposedly going to restore their pass rush and Ochocinco was supposedly going to be another major contributor and turn them into an unbeatable juggernaut this past season too. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, is all I'm saying. People continue to say what a cake schedule the Steelers had this past season and that their 12-4 record was a "fraud", well, who exactly did the Patriots beat?
Good points - I would think Belichick might be interested in trying to upgrade that defense before upgrading a fairly prolific passing game

Of course if the Steelers had been able to beat the one good team New England did beat (Baltimore) they probably would have had home field advantage for the playoffs
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

The Patriots beat the Ravens! I would not be to upset with 2 number 1 picks Wallace is not worth a boat load of money.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: New England Patriots: Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace Is a Realistic Target

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Seems to me they were supposedly going to win Super Bowl after Super Bowl with Moss too.
they were a few plays away from winning it w/o him.

either way, we are always in contention for a bowl with him, and the patriots will always be in contention w/o him. do the simple addition/subtraction and see where that equation leaves us. we'll see soon enough if the rooneys place more value on him than just another plax or holmes. easy to get rid of those guys w a younger, healthier hines.



wallaces goals of getting top dollar and being the first 2000 yd receiver are realistic in NE though.

im sure the 49ers are gonna show great interest in wallace as well. its a great market for FA wr's and theres none i'd rather have than mike, especially w/o arians deflating his stats in an attempt to make him more affordable.
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