August 20, 2014

Why Pursuing Mike Wallace is Insane

As good as he is, the Bengals would be crazy to go after Mike Wallace.

In the past few days, Bengals nation and some media types have become aflutter with the possibility of Cincinnati making a move for Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. Since the Steelers are tight against the salary cap, a deal could be structured that would make it difficult for Pittsburgh to bring Wallace back. However, because Wallace is expected to be a restricted free agent, the Bengals would have to surrender a first-round pick if they were to sign him.

And that my friends, is insane.

First, you have to understand the importance of a first-round pick. With the new rookie wage scale in place, first-round salaries have been held in check, allowing you to lock in a talented player for four years (or five, if the team uses its option) at a very reasonable rate. For Cincinnati, this would be a significant benefit considering how many of their key players will be approaching free agency in the coming seasons (Jermaine Gresham, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, etc). The Bengals have to keep their salaries down as much as possible to ensure they can keep their talented core players together.

Second, you have to realize that there are some alternatives available that wouldn’t cost the team a first-rounder. Robert Meachem and Mario Manningham aren’t quite as good as Wallace, but they’re not that far off. And they wouldn’t cost that cherished first-round pick either. So think of it in trade terms. Would you rather have Meachem and a first-round pick (say Dre Kirkpatrick or David DeCastro) or just Mike Wallace? The answer should be obvious.

Luckily, I think Mike Brown realizes this. Brown has been rather reluctant to trade draft picks over the years, instead holding onto them like they’re a 12-year-old phone book on a Hoarders episode. Now, with the rookie wage scale in place, those picks are even more valuable.

Even Wallace, a Pro Bowl receiver who would energize the Bengals and weaken the Steelers, isn’t worth the sacrifice.

So it’s time to end the talk of acquiring him.

It’s all insane.

 

 

Comments

  1. PorkChop says:

    WRONG!!
    Bengals need to play to win not hopefully win in a few years. Wallace would put assessing in the seats at PBS and give the Bengals a better shot of winning now instead of hoping that some college kid can successfully transition to the NFL. Mike Wallace has proven he is an elite WR and a major deep threat. Not even Andrew Luck has proven anything as far as playing in the NFL. How many 1st round picks have turned out to be a bust and are home watching the games just like us?! Get the proven elite player while you got a chance and have 2 ProBowl receivers lining up for Andy Dalton to target and make a solid run for the SuperBowl now; not in a few years from now. This move is a no-brainer and will excite all of us fans who have stuck by our team waiting for a solid contender and bring pride to the QueenCity. We want to win now! WhoDey!!

    • Bill says:

      I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider that Wallace costs the Bengals more than just a first round pick. He costs a lot of cap room too. Instead of costing rookie money, he is going to command serious cash. How happy are you going to be in two years if they have to let Dunlap or Atkins walk because they gave the money to Wallace?

      And then instead of having the #17 and #21 picks, the Steelers have the #21 and #24 picks. How excited are you going to be to have Nate Livings play another year at left guard because the Steelers took DeCastro/Glenn at #21 instead of the Bengals?

      Yes, having Wallace and Green makes for a sick receiver corp. But it comes at the expense of some other position. So I have to agree with Nate. A cheaper guy like Meachem + 2 first round picks is a greater overall value to the Bengals than an expensive Wallace + 1 first round pick.

      • Steven says:

        I don’t believe a guy like Meachem + 2 first round picks is greater than Wallace + one first round pick at all. That is because the first round picks aren’t proven commodities.

        Meachem is also the beneficiary of multiple threats stretching defenses to create space for him. On the steelers, Wallace is the threat.

        This team, to win a Super Bowl, needs playmakers. A collection of average talent yields average results.

        DeCastro will never even get to our #17pick. The steelers are also known for essentially red-shirting their picks for their first season anyway. Why not try to beat them right now?

  2. gary folger says:

    I agree with pork chop. Giving up a first round pick sux however u r getting a proven star not a what if/maybe.

  3. Nate says:

    As Bill said, this isn’t simply Wallace vs. a draft pick. The Bengals definitely need an impact receiver opposite A.J. Green, but they shouldn’t pursue an extremely expensive on that will cost a draft pick as well. They can sign someone like Meachem, who will be cheaper than Wallace, and still keep both their first-round picks.

    Draft picks are never sure things, but I bet every GM in the league is jealous that the Bengals have two this year. They shouldn’t give up that luxury easily. Plus, I’m not sure Wallace alone is enough to lift them into the next stratosphere. But with two first-rounders and a reasonable WR on top of that, they have enough talent and available cap space to be a force for years to come.

  4. Number 1 Fan says:

    Yeah, I need to agree with nate and bill here. I think the Bengals see more success with a better line next year than another receiver. Given the guys on the roster; green, shipley and gresham. A better line helps them do what they do and beat coverage.

    Keep the picks, take the young talent and make your whole team better, not just your passing game.

  5. Chgolaw says:

    The real issue is whether the bengals are going to use the $60 million in cap room they have (no. 3 in the NFL). If they do, and get two quality free agents (like Arian Foster, Mario Williams, and especially Carl Nicks), then you can give up a first for a guy like Mike Wallace who is in the top three of WR’s in the league. But, if the bengals ignore the free agent market as they alsways do, and refuse to spend any money, then they have to keep the pick because then they cannot explain how they are going to fill the many holes they have (RB, WR, OG, S, DB, SLB). And the fac tthat the Cincy media is silent on this issue just further shows their complicity with the way the team is run.

  6. Travis says:

    I think everyone has made good points on this topic. I lean towards the side that says “keep the picks” Pitt cant afford him so chances are he won’t be there next year anyway. Guys like Manningham would come cheaper and the guy has proven he can make the big catch. Bengals need to keep this unit together and to do that they need to address the star players they have on the roster now. Bill made the best point, we can’t let guys walk cause we can’t pay them. Thats why the Steelers are in the position there in now. Lets not make same mistake.

  7. Steven says:

    Incredibly wrong. Manningham and Meachum are two WRs that had respectable seasons due to space created by the better receivers on their teams. Wallace is the one that creates the space. He is a rare athlete with top 3 in the ENTIRE LEAGUE speed, but runs good routes and has great hands. A first round draft pick is an unknown. Even with the new rookie wage scale, you could still end spending millions for a player that doesn’t help your team in the slightest. Wallace is a proven commodity in the toughtest division in the NFL.

    Yes, you will spend more on his contract. However, you are purchasing a known commodity that could give the Bengals a Championship-caliber offense. I would take the extra cost and reduced risk for a player that will stretch opposing defenses and open up the rest of the offense.

    If that still doesn’t convince you, ask yourself how the Bengals looked when AJ Green was injured.

    Oh, and the Bengals can still get a started with pick #17 and have more than enough cap space to go out and ALSO sign a free agent corner, safety, and guard.

    Case closed.