Plenty of smoke with Mike Wallace and Dolphins, but is there fire?

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The top free-agent wideout this offseason is, by a reasonably large margin, Steelers burner Mike Wallace. He'll have a chance to test the waters Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, but if you listen to folks in the media, he's already a member of the Dolphins.

It's not illogical at all. Miami needs a premier wide receiver. Miami has lots of money. Wallace can be a premiere wideout. He likes money. Our pal Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post rounded up the latest Dolphins-Wallace scuttlebutt on Monday morning, noting the various reports (and there are many!) connecting Wallace to South Beach.

Volin then adds that he hears from a source that Miami landing Wallace is a "done deal."

It makes total sense, especially when you factor in the limited number of teams that will be spending during this free-agency period.

I don't necessarily think Wallace will be worth what the Dolphins pay him, especially if it's north of $10 million a year, but in terms of teams with the money to spend on the speedster, there shouldn't be a whole lot of competition out there, barring the always-underrated mystery team that flies into the market.

Having said all that, though, when does something that looks guaranteed in the NFL ever go the way everyone expects it? It just never seems to work that way and, so, I'm skeptical that the Wallace business will actually go down the way everyone expects it to.

That's not me questioning anyone's reports of Wallace landing in South Beach. There's just a lot of economics and negotiating that goes into this. What happens if the Dolphins realize they're Wallace's only suitor and try to cut back on what they want to pay him? Does he balk and take a hypothetical offer from another team with lots of cap space like the Browns or Colts?

What if this all a brilliantly-designed smokescreen by the Dolphins to drive down Greg Jennings' price? (OK, maybe that's an even longer shot, but whatever.)

Maybe it happens. Maybe it happens quickly and Wallace and the Dolphins are announcing a mammoth contract on Tuesday afternoon with a Wednesday jersey party and enthusiastic press conference. It sure seems to be the likely path. But with the way fortune reverses itself in the NFL, it's always good to remember nothing's concrete until the ink is drying on the page.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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