Mike Wallace rumors: Panthers HC Ron Rivera indicates interest

Jared Wickerham

Wallace would give Cam Newton one of the best deep threats in the league.

As Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton grows and progresses, he'll need weapons around him. Could free agent Mike Wallace be one of those weapons?

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera hinted Tuesday he would like to see the Panthers sign the soon-to-be free agent, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

NFL.com's Steve Wyche asked Panthers coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday if Wallace is a target in free agency.

"You're warm, but you know what's going to be interesting is how things unfold once we get to March 12," Rivera said on "NFL AM." "There's a lot of things that are out there that we have to really take into consideration. You know, we'll see how things are going to affect us when we get to the 12th."

Wallace said earlier this year that he'd like to stay in Pittsburgh, but it doesn't look likely considering the Steelers are in a tough salary cap situation.

Jaxon at Cat Scratch Reader hopes there is some truth behind what Rivera said:

So we could shrug this off as pre-draft smoke screen or maybe Rivera was just providing some wishful thinking like we are prone to do. Yet it's not really in character for Rivera to say something like that without there being some truth to it. Now I'm more excited to see what happens by March 12th. I think we are in for some surprises.

Wallace, 26, is considered one of the top free agents available this March. Last season Wallace played in 15 games for the Steelers, who had their worst season since 2006. Wallace caught 64 passes for 836 yards and eight touchdowns.

It was a down year for Wallace, who also had to work with backup quarterbacks while starter Ben Roethlisberger missed time due to injury. In his previous two seasons -- with a healthy Roethlisberger -- Wallace averaged 66 catches, 1,225 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Panthers still have Steve Smith, but he'll be 34 in May and the team needs to start thinking about getting younger. Wallace would give Newton one of the best deep threats in the league.

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