Free agency always seems to bring one or two surprises every new NFL year. Among the most popular is when a key player goes to a team nobody expected. Could Mike Wallace do that by bypassing the Miami Dolphins for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Bucs looking for depth alongside Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams
It seems somewhat counterproductive for a team to spend so much money on just one area of their roster. After all the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used a huge chunk of salary cap space last season to bring in receiver Vincent Jackson to pair with young starter Mike Williams. It was a good choice. Jackson went to the Pro Bowl and quarterback Josh Freeman threw for 4,000 yards. Still many think outside those two top names the Buccaneers offense has no other threat besides running back Doug Martin. The tight end spot isn't settled and there is no real third receiver to scare defenses. That in part explains why Freeman struggled while throwing 17 interceptions. Finding that third target would open up the field a little more and make his decisions easier. It's just a matter of finding out who they want. Tampa Bay already has $32 million in salary cap space to spend. That number could reach $40 million if corner Eric Wright leaves. Granted, much of that money must go to fixing 29th ranked defense in the league last year. Then again they have plenty of cash to find at least one solid upgrade on offense.
Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings among the favorite to pursue Wallace
The Wallace sweepstakes is arguably the most entertaining of any come free agency time. Most expect the Pittsburgh Steelers star to auction off his services since he made it clear last year he wanted a deal close to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. That means teams with larger cap spaces will have the best shots. Among the front runners so far include the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings, followed closely by the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. All four teams have needs at the wide receiver spot and would love have a speedster like Wallace for their young quarterbacks to throw to. The only wild card in the bidding war is the man himself. Only Wallace knows what he wants. His time in Pittsburgh may have spoiled him to the point he'll willingly lower the price slightly to join a contender. Or he'll simply go to whichever team offers the most money. In that case Tampa Bay is in a good spot to do so. They don't have any key free agents to bring back like Cincinnati or Miami and have far more space than Minnesota. Cleveland is also unlikely since they are a division rival to the Steelers. Adding Wallace would give the Buccaneers a frightening receiving corps mixed with speed, size and athleticism. It all comes down to the price.
The Miami Dolphins made it clear Mike Wallace is the top target in the NFL free agency this year. That doesn't mean they hold exclusive rights to him. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are solid starters for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, there is no such thing as too many targets in pro football.
Photo Credit - Baltimore Sports Report