The Vikings desperately need a receiver capable of taking the top of a defense if for know other reason than to give Christian Ponder a no-excuses 2013 season in which he will be expected to make major strides as an NFL quarterback.

Minnesota is expected to make a run at receivers via free agency and also invest heavily in the position during April’s NFL Draft.  Percy Harvin remains a giant question mark right now, so that leaves only Jarius Wright as a receiver on the roster with any notable experience in the NFL, and that isn’t saying much.

Greg Jennings has been tossed around as an option for the Vikings, and he still might be, but as opening day of free agency draws nearer it appears Steelers free agent receiver Mike Wallace is going to be the focus of “reports.”

Jeff Darlington of NFL.com penned an item on Wednesday all about the Miami Dolphins and their need to provide Ryan Tannehill with more weapons.  Buried in the article, however, is a line about how Miami’s General Manager Jeff Ireland fully expects to be in a bidding war with Minnesota for Wallace’s services.

I can’t say that I am overly surprised.  Wallace is only 26 years old, has some of the best speed in the NFL, and has made some great catches over his career.  At 6′ 0″ and 199 pounds he has adequate size to be a top receiver capable of keeping defenses honest, and hopefully opening up the ground game for Adrian Peterson.

On the other hand, Wallace has proven to be somewhat inconsistent and has had trouble with drops of late.  If Christian Ponder is unable to take advantage of Wallace’s deep threat skill set, and Wallace struggles running shorter routes and making tough catches, I worry that we could be seeing another version of Bernard Berrian.

I also worry that, in a league where teams really don’t harbor two high-priced wide outs on one roster, that signing Wallace to an inevitably large contract would simultaneously be signing Percy Harvin’s pink slip.  Wallace could very well command a five year deal worth in excess of $40 million, if not much more.

Still, the Vikings must eventually take a chance on somebody if they want to make a genuine effort at creating a whole offense, and Wallace appears to meet the criteria to be a key piece in that puzzle.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Adam,
    I honestly can’t see the Vikings getting in a bidding war for Wallace.They’re smarter than that.
    And your right, He didn’t have that great of year in 2012.
    I like Jennings But Would he stay healthy? To be honest, Wish Percy and team could settle up…

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    • I agree. He’d be a nice addition at a reasonable price… but I really don’t think he’ll be had at a reasonable price. Same might be the case for Jennings.

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      • will they want to come here with an unproven passer? there’s kind of a ‘higher cost penalty’ for WRs with having a guy like ponder, compared to being able to be catching passes from a tom brady, for instance. would you take less to play with brady than ponder, and have a better chance at a title? and if you sign a FA WR who is looking to max out his deal by going to a team like miami or mn, is he as interested in winning as he is in making bank? i doubt it. so no, a bidding war is not in our best interest, imo. don’t wanna pay up for a greed-motivated WR, unless it’s an incentive-laden deal

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  2. They will be in the picture for Wallace just like they were in the picture for Garcon last year, but I think they will drop out pretty quickly if it gets to rich for their liking. Wallace certainly fits the bill as a field stretching receiver, but Garcon was probably a more complete receiver and they exited those sweepstakes pretty quick. I would rather see them take a flyer on Marquise Goodwin in the third or later rounds of the draft than pay a ridiculous amount of money to Wallace. I just don’t know that Ponder has the consistent deep accuracy to make paying Wallace the $10+ million a year he’ll probably command worth it.

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  3. I really don’t think Musgrave is a go deep kind of OC.

    If I am Mike Wallace… I would be thinking Miami all the way. Miami will out bid Minnesota anyway.

    I would much rather keep Harvin and pay him. Harvin fits what we do! I just don’t understand the problem??

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    • Heck I’d pick Miami just based on location… As a guy in your mid 20’s making ten million a year there wouldn’t be a better city to live.

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  4. Wallace wouldn’t be a good fit for Ponder. Wallace likes going deep, Ponder hates throwing deep, Wallace needs a big arm qb to succeed which ponder isn’t. I think the best fit wr on the market for us would be Wes Welker but that will never happen.

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    • I don’t think Ponder would mind throwing deep, and I don’t think Musgrave would mind dialing up the deep ball if they actually had a receiver who could get open on a vertical route. We just haven’t seen them do it much because our receivers have been so bad. Ponder did air out two really nice deep balls to Jarious Wright during the season, so he’s shown he can do it. I just question if he could do it consistently on a weekly basis. I don’t know that adding just Mike Wallace makes the team a whole lot better. For the money it would take to sign him, you could probably sign three mid-level starters after the first week a free agency including a guy like Barden who will never create the separation Wallace does, but with his 6-6 frame he can out jump defenders for the ball so he could potentially be just as dangerous…and a lot cheaper.

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  5. Yeah. NO Wallace. No need for a Berrian-Simpson recurrent nightmare. Though, the QB has/had a lot to do with it.
    He (ponder) needs competion to evolve to the next level (if at all possible). Otherwise, insert FA signing to get hopes up, but fails miserably here ________.

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  6. Besides, if said ‘schism’ exists between the team and the player, why would they bring another guy who seemingly has the same traits when it comes to contracts?

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