November 4, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) runs past New York Giants corner back Prince Amukamara (20) for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers' Mike Wallace top priority for Miami Dolphins

Almost every passing day, it appears more of a given that unrestricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace won’t be returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As I wrote last week, the Cleveland Browns will be interested in signing Wallace, but they will have some competition- from the Miami Dolphins.

Dec 2, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M

The Dolphins haven’t hidden the fact they’ll upgrade the receiver position through free agency, trying to give second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill the weapons he needs to improve the passing game.

Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly reports that multiple sources have reported that Wallace, who won’t be given the franchise tag by the Steelers this offseason, is the team’s top target.

“I think this is the year that you’ve got to do something,” Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland told Kelly. “We’re looking for playmakers on offense.”

Wallace would give the Dolphins exactly that, but at what cost?

Considering the fact Wallace turned down an offer from the Steelers last year that trumped the five-year, $55.5 million deal Vincent Jackson got from Tampa Bay, it is expected that a contract for Wallace could be in the range of $60 million or $12 million a season.

Is Wallace worth that type of money?

That’s debatable, but it is almost a given that he won’t be to the Steelers, even though it will be almost impossible to replace him in the short-term future.

Dolphins’ owner Steve Ross is a big spender, and he likely will set the bar high for Wallace, which even if they wanted to bring him back, they will be priced out of the bidding.

Being over $14 million over the salary cap, it’s not clear right now exactly how the Steelers will tackle the offseason, but one thing is for sure and that is they won’t be able to get into a bidding war to retain Wallace.

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Tags: Miami Dolphins Mike Wallace Pittsburgh Steelers

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