Monday, March 11, 2013
Top free agents in the division: No. 2
By Jamison Hensley
Free agency officially begins Tuesday, so the AFC North blog is counting down the 20 best free agents (unrestricted and restricted) from the teams in the division. Let's continue with No. 2 ...
Steelers wide receiver
The good: Wallace's three best traits are: speed, speed and more speed. He demands double coverage from defenses and can score from any place on the field. Since 2009, no player in the NFL has more 40-yard receptions than Wallace (27) and no one has more touchdown catches of 40 yards or longer (16).
The bad: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin jokingly (OK, maybe half-jokingly) referred to Wallace as a "one-trick pony," but that's pretty accurate. Wallace doesn't run a variety of routes. He's best at running straight down the field and beating cornerbacks in a footrace. Wallace also had trouble holding on to the ball last season, something that had never been a problem before.
The bottom line: The Steelers don't have the cap room to even think about retaining Wallace. It's just a matter of which team is going to be willing to spend $10 million to $11 million per season on him. The Dolphins are considered the heavy favorites to sign Wallace and could do so Tuesday, the first day of free agency. The Panthers, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers and Browns also have been linked to Wallace during the offseason.