As many of you probably know, Mike Wallace is a restricted free agent. The Steelers and their fans love this guy, and they won’t him to stay in Pittsburgh, but it’s still possible for a team to swoop in and sign him. The downside for that team is that it would cost them a first round pick.
As Alfie Crow correctly pointed out at BCC, the compensatory pick that is given to the Steelers is the signing team’s highest original first round pick. That means a team such as the Jaguars couldn’t trade away the 7th pick of the draft for a lower pick, the 25th pick of the draft for our example, and give the Steelers that 25th pick while pocketing any additional picks acquired in the trade.
The 7th pick of the draft isn’t the only reason the Jaguars won’t be signing Mike Wallace. If it was only a matter of giving up a very high pick, it could be a justified move. Wallace is a great receiver with rare speed coming into the prime of his career. He’s worth a first round pick, but the Jaguars would also have to pay him an arm and a leg to sign him.
With the introduction of the rookie cap last year, it became far cheaper, and thus less risky, to attempt to fix problems in a team’s roster via the draft. What I’m suggesting is that the Jaguars will try to fix their receiver situation through the draft, and that seems to be the position that the Jaguars’ personnel department is taking, with the exception of the Laurent Robinson signing.
Hopefully this short piece puts the Mike Wallace hopes to bed. The Jaguars shouldn’t and won’t attempt to sign him. There’s too much risk involved with throwing a ton of money and a very high draft pick at him. The Jaguars will address the wide receiver position in April’s draft. Let’s be patient until then, ok?