Miami’s most recent first-round draft pick at the position was Ted Ginn Jr.
And three years ago Miami traded for a receiver of Wallace’s stature only to regret it.
I recall Brandon Marshall was introduced in a nearby Renaissance hotel meeting room because the Dolphins at the time had a well-meant but ultimate silly policy of treating all players the same to the degree not even an arriving star would be afforded a team-affiliated news conference.
Marshall’s smile was magnetic. He said he was happier than he had ever been.
There was no clue, then, that he would reveal himself to have Borderline Personality Disorder, yell at teammates on the sideline and be gone after two fairly productive but ultimately unfulfilled seasons.
Wallace can’t be another Marshall — OK to pretty good for a little while and then gone. Wallace is only 26. He said Wednesday he will spend “hopefully the rest of my career in Miami,” and fans should share that hope. The Dolphins need to hit big here. Need him to be great, not good. They need Wallace to be for Tannehill what the Marks Brothers were for Dan Marino, a fixture of consistent, constant excellence.
Early odds out Wednesday put Wallace’s 2013 betting over/unders at 62.5 catches for 925.5 yards and 6 1/2 touchdowns. I guarantee that Miami is counting on more, on the “overs.” And should.
The Dolphins are building something here. The road in front of the club’s Davie offices and training camp site is under serious construction, and so is the franchise headquartered there.
There is a sense the team might be poised to at least end its four-year slump of winless seasons. Clemons said, “I definitely believe we’re a playoff team.” Wallace noted, “I don’t feel like this was a team that [was] 7-9 in a bad way” — aware perhaps that four losses were by a combined 14 points, two in overtime.
The club also introduced its two new linebackers Wednesday, with Dannell Ellerbe describing his style of play as “hair on fire,” and Philip Wheeler describing his as “aggressive, like a shark.”
The construction isn’t finished. Not with more holes to fill, more free agents to acquire and the draft just ahead.
This won’t change, though:
Wallace will be the Dolphins’ biggest and priciest acquisition of this 2013 offseason.
They need him to be the best, too.