The Baltimore Ravens are taking a shot on a player whose star has dimmed in recent years, signing wide receiver Mike Wallace, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The 29-year-old will be on his third team in three years following a disappointing performance with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015.
The Ravens are giving Wallace $11.5 million over two years, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Wallace first rose to fame as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger taking advantage of his deep speed to make him one of the most explosive playmakers in the league. Wallace scored 32 touchdowns in four seasons with the Steelers.
In 2013, Wallace became a free agent and elected to cash in, signing with the Miami Dolphins for five years and $60 million. However, Wallace never quite fit in Miami's offense and the Dolphins wrote him off after just two years, trading him to Minnesota in 2015 for a fifth-round pick. Wallace's Vikings career was even more underwhelming -- he had just 39 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns, disappearing for entire stretches of games. The Vikings released him to clear $11.5 million in cap space.
It's hard to tell whether Wallace's failings were his own doing, a poor scheme fit or both. Either way, the Ravens will hope he has something left in the tank. Baltimore has a serious lack of playmakers at the receiver position. Steve Smith was the top receiver last season, but he got hurt and missed most of the year. Kamar Aiken wound up leading the team with 944 yards and five touchdowns.
Wallace will join a Ravens team that will likely have Smith and second-year player Breshad Perriman starting at the two receiver spots. Perriman was a first-round pick last year but never saw the field due to injuries. The Ravens have high hopes in him going forward, though.