|The Panthers have their eye on free agent WR Mike Wallace but he'll be a tough catch. (USATI)|
The Carolina Panthers may have one of the ugliest salary cap situations in the NFL -- well, technically, it was the fourth ugliest when the offseason began -- but that doesn't mean the team won't be shopping to fill some needs when free agency begins on March 12.
One of the needs is wide receiver and on Tuesday, coach Ron Rivera hinted that the team may pursue one of the biggest receivers available: Mike Wallace.
When asked if the Panthers would target Wallace in free agency, Rivera seemed to acknowledge it as a possibility, "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 the NFL Network's NFL AM show. "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."
Since Cam Newton took over as the Panthers' starting quarterback in 2011, he's only had one consistent target at wide receiver -- 11-year veteran Steve Smith. Smith finished the 2012 season with 1,174 yards, which was 497 more than No. 2 wide receiver Brandon LaFell's 677 yards. So the Panthers' wide receiver issues boil down to this: They don't have a No. 2 threat and their No. 1 receiver will be 34 in May.
Wallace may be on Carolina's wish list, but he's not going to come cheap and the Panthers probably aren't going to win a bidding war with anyone for his services. Carolina currently sits about $10 million over the projected 2013 salary cap, which means the Panthers' best bet for upgrading at receiver this year will probably be the NFL Draft.
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