Exploring a Revis trade would demonstrate ingenuity and boldness by Ireland, but also be a calculated risk in giving up draft picks. It’s a no-lose thing. Getting Revis would be hugely popular with most fans, but nobody expects the deal so Ireland would not be blamed if it never happened.
Not so with Wallace, the Steelers wide receiver and pending free agent.
Reports are he is Miami’s No. 1 target, the name most out front in the whole offseason building project, so not signing him would be seen as a big loss for Miami and for Ireland personally.
By consensus Wallace is the top receiver available (yes, more so than older Greg Jennings) and that is Miami’s area of greatest need. Since the draft is not especially strong for WRs, that further increases the imperative to land Wallace and give young quarterback Ryan Tannehill the weapon he needs and has lacked – and then target other needs in the draft.
I expect Miami to re-sign its own free agent receiver, Brian Hartline (and tackle Jake Long, too), but this offense needs something more than Hartline’s reliability. It needs Wallace’s dynamic deep threat and big plays.
WALLACE YOUNG – AND FAST
Wallace is coming into his prime at 26, made the Pro Bowl in 2011, is very fast, and has 32 touchdown catches in 48 career starts. His career average is 17.4 yards per catch, and, to put that in perspective, Miami has not had any receiver average that even for one season (minimum 50 catches) since Irving Fryar in 1994.
Wallace, inevitably, is nicknamed “60 Minutes” because that news show’s iconic star also was Mike Wallace, and because a full game happens to be 60 minutes. (Coincidentally, prior to this free-agent Mike Wallace, Dolphins fans last paid this much attention to the other Mike Wallace when he famously interviewed Ricky Williams in 2004 and ’05).
Miami needs to add impact players, what Ireland calls “difference makers,” and Wallace for this offense would be that as much as Revis would be for this defense.
Wallace, though, will be Ireland’s must-get in the coming weeks, because he is the clear target, and the teams competing to sign him that Miami will have to overcome and outbid could include the rival Patriots.
That positions Wallace as Ireland’s offseason Litmus test.
The Dolphins won’t start winning unless their general manager starts winning, and his season is about to start.