Eagles Get their Deep Threat with Mike Wallace
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Mike Wallace hasn't been a star since he called Western Pennsylvania home and the veteran receiver will not be asked to be one now that he's returning to the Keystone State as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wallace will, however, expected to be an upgrade.
The speedy Wallace signed a one-year deal worth a reported $2.5 million with the reigning Super Bowl champions, ostensibly as the replacement for Torrey Smith as the receiver who stretches the field so others like Alson Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor can work underneath.
A former Pro Bowl selection in Pittsburgh back to 2011, Wallace isn't that any longer but he's faster and catches the ball a little more consistently than the guy he's replacing and Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas got him for half the price.
Wallace hasn't been a difference maker since leaving the Steelers for a big-money deal in Miami before the 2013 season but the one thing he has always been capable of doing is popping the top on opposing defenses with his impressive deep speed.
Like Smith, he's been inconsistent catching the football but not to the degree of Torrey and he's also always been much more productive than Smith.
Last season with the Ravens Wallace caught 52 passes for 748 yards and four touchdowns. The year before that he had 1,017 receiving yards in Baltimore, the first time he cracked 1K since back-to-back seasons in Pittsburgh when he was considered to be one of the top two or three home-run hitters in football.
Originally selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss, Wallace has amassed 538 receptions for 8,072 yards (15.0 average) and 57 touchdowns in 142 regular-season games for Pittsburgh (2009-12), Miami (2013-14), Minnesota (2015) and Baltimore (2016-17).
He leads the NFL in 50-yard receptions since 2016 (eight) and ranks second in that category dating back to 2009 (26), trailing only former Eagles DeSean Jackson (36).
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen