Colts Should Pass on Dolphins Wideout Mike Wallace


The Indianapolis Colts have been mentioned as a possible trade partner for Miami Dolphins wideout Mike Wallace. However, given the natural fit, and it’s a relatively easy decline.

Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts corner back Greg Toler (28) makes a stop on Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t get me wrong, the Colts could obviously use another wide receiver with both Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks as free agents and with each’s future with the team clearly uncertain. While adding young CFL standout in Duron Carter should certainly help at the wide receiver position, the Colts would be wise to add another proven player at the position given that Carter has never played a meaningful NFL snap and is still a bit of a Wildcard.

There is no doubt that Mike Wallace is a talented wideout in the NFL, coming off a season in which he caught 67 receptions for 862 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns with the Dolphins. However, at 6’0″, 200 pounds, Wallace is largely a deep field threat, being regarded as one of the fastest players in the NFL.

Unfortunately for the Colts, the team has enough deep field, “home run” hitters in Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton and promising young wideout Donte Moncrief. What the team really needs is someone to fulfill the sure-handed role previously occupied by Reggie Wayne, as the team’s possession wideout who can make the crucial intermediate catches down the field. Specifically, a wideout that can make those tough catches over the middle, the 7 yard out routes, and those critical 3rd down catches (i.e. hit “singles” and “doubles” to move the chains and advance scoring drives down the field).

Currently, Wallace is due a $9.9 million cap hit for 2015 with $3 million guaranteed if he remains on Miami’s roster past March 10th. Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey was reportedly “noncommittal” on Wallace’s long-term future with the team, which indicates that the team may be willing to move on.

While Mike Wallace is a wide receiver by title, and the Colts could clearly use another one of those. From a fit perspective, he’s not really what the team needs right now. According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), 25% of his catches came on deep pass targets of 20 yards or more, a fairly significant mark.

At just 6’0″, 200 pounds, Wallace isn’t the type of big bodied wide receiver that generally makes for a trustworthy possession wideout target either, especially given his tendency to drop catchable passes in the past. While he fared significantly better last season, Wallace is just one year removed from a season in which he dropped 13.10% of catchable passes per ProFootballFocus, which was the 5th worst in the league among wideouts in 2013.

Given that Bruce Arians, Wallace’s former offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is no longer coaching in Indianapolis, and there’s no real rhyme or reason as to why the Colts would be interested besides their obvious need for a wideout. However, given the fit, and it’s clear that the Colts should clearly pass on the Miami Dolphins Mike Wallace through potentially either a trade or free agency.

Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) is congratulated by wide receiver Brandon Gibson (10) and tight end Charles Clay (42) after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports