Mercurial receiver Mike Wallace is on his fourth team in five seasons, landing with the Eagles on a one-year deal. Wallace is expected to assume the role left behind by Torrey Smith, primarily working as an outside receiver. He might be asked to run deeper routes with Philly, which in turn could push his receiving average higher than the 14.4 it was last season in Baltimore. But Wallace also has been fed a steady dose of targets -- 107.2 per year in his last five -- and that's something that figures to dip in 2018. By comparison, Smith had 67 targets last season and only three Eagles receivers have had over 90 targets since Doug Pederson's arrival (two played primarily in the slot). Wallace has mild appeal as a bench receiver who should be available after 150th overall on Draft Day.
The Eagles and Wallace reached agreement on a one-year contract Thursday, Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com reports. Wallace's former squad, the Ravens, have effectively exchanged him and Jeremy Maclin for Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Meanwhile, Wallace should slot into the role of the jettisoned Torrey Smith in the upcoming campaign. In his sole season in Philly, the 28-year-old Smith gathered in 36 of 68 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. Wallace himself is only two years removed from a 1,000-yard season, so it's not a stretch to say the Eagles upgraded their receiving corps with this transaction. Having said that, he'll have to contend with Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz for downfield targets, which could cap Wallace's weekly contributions.
Wallace, an unrestricted free agent, could return to the Ravens, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley reports. The Ravens signed Michael Crabtree and John Brown to replace Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Michael Campanaro, but the team still could bring back one of its veterans if the price is right. Wallace doesn't seem to be generating much interest in free agency, despite leading an undermanned Baltimore offense in receiving yards both of the past two years. it doesn't help that he'll turn 32 in August, but he's only missed two games in a nine-year career and is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he's averaged above 8.0 yards per target.
Wallace likely will need to test the market as a free agent, Jeff Zrebic of The Baltimore Sun reports. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said the team plans to make major changes to its wide receiver group, perhaps hinting that Jeremy Maclin will be released and Wallace won't be re-signed. The Ravens would probably consider bringing Wallace back if they can get him to accept a team-friendly deal, after he led the team in receiving yards the past two seasons. Given that he's 31 years old and has already played for four teams, Wallace probably isn't inclined to accept a discount to stay in Baltimore. This could be his last chance at a considerable contract.
Wallace finished the season with 52 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns on 92 targets. The veteran receiver's production took a dip from his first season in Baltimore across the board save for yards-per-reception (14.4), but it was still a fine all-around campaign for Wallace playing in a clunky offense with subpar quarterback play. He finished as a top-40 receiver in standard formats and his calling card -- speed -- was still on display as he reeled in 11 receptions of 20-or-more yards, which tied for his best in a season since leaving Pittsburgh. Wallace will hit free agency this offseason as a 31-year-old receiver with a perceived dependence on speed, so the chances of him landing a deal beyond two years are essentially null, but Wallace has shown he has enough in the tank to be a No.2 or No. 3 for a receiver-needy team.
Wallace (knee) is active Sunday against the Bengals. After logging back-to-back full practices to finish the week, Wallace's status for the must-win, Week 17 matchup never appeared to be in serious jeopardy. He's now seen the highest snap count total among Baltimore wideouts in back-to-back weeks, and there's little reason to think that will change in Week 17. Though the opposing Bengals have little to play for, they represent a relatively challenging matchup, having allowed opposing wide receivers to score just twice in the past five weeks.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|6||10/12||@New York Giants||25||20.75|
|11||11/18||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|12||11/25||New York Giants||25||20.75|
|15||12/17||@Los Angeles Rams||11||18.47|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||94||54||746||3||34||13.81||93|