The link between the Miami Dolphins and free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace is stronger than ever.
The rumors of the Dolphins being interested in Wallace have been floating around for a while, but now it's becoming clear that Wallace is choice No. 1. Wallace is who Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland wants and not Greg Jennings, who was believed to be the shoe-in, according to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com:
If all goes as planned -- and yes, there is a plan -- Ireland will have a corps of pass catchers within the next week that includes Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, sources said. The plan ("Plan A", at least) does not include Greg Jennings, who isn't as valued by the organization as many outsiders believe him to be.
The Dolphins covet Wallace because of his ability to make plays in the end zone, recognizing their high reliance on field goals in close games last season. They covet his speed, which would add a dynamic that was missing on a team without a player who could force defenses to respect the deep ball.
The Dolphins' long-term goal is to grow Ryan Tannehill into a franchise quarterback. However, Tannehill didn't have the weapons last year to succeed -- something Ireland has admitted.
But now the Dolphins are ready to give Tannehill his No. 1 receiver in Wallace.
Wallace, 26, is a deep threat and would allow Tannehill to air out his arm. In his four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wallace has averaged 17.2 yards per reception. He led the NFL in that stat in his rookie year with 19.4 yards per reception. He upped that number in 2010, catching 60 passes for 1,257 yards, or 21.0 yards per reception.
Wallace's numbers dropped in 2012, but he also had to work with Steelers quarterbacks not named Ben Roethlisberger. He caught 64 passes for 836 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tannehill, 24, led the Dolphins to a 7-9 record last season after being selected with the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 3,294 yards and 12 touchdowns. He threw 13 interceptions and was sacked 35 times.