Pats have 'some' interest in Wallace?

Pats have 'some' interest in Wallace?
March 9, 2013, 11:00 am
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The much-discussed first day of the NFL's legal tampering period has so far been ... Saturday.

The only Patriots-related morsel that's dropped so far is from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Salguero tweeted this soon after midnight on Saturday, "Take this for what it is worth (I see it as solid). Agent just told me he hears Patriots have some interest in Mike Wallace."

Given the thirst for NFL news, the fact Wallace, the former Steelers wideout, is perhaps the most identifiable name in a moribund free agent market and that all things Patriot gain traction, people have been on it like ants on a popsicle stick. There were 67 retweets and a pickup by my buddy Mike Florio at PFT.

By this evening, the question on most people's minds in New England will be whether or not Wallace will have an introductory press conference in Foxboro on Tuesday when free agency opens or later in the week.

Taking Salguero's advice, we will take his tweet for what it is worth. And the phrase "an agent just told me he hears..." gives some pause.

Now, since Michael Felger has chastised me for being 'The Great Debunker' because my instinct is to poop on anything anyone else reports (I guess I have that tendency), let's first look at the likelihood of Wallace.

The Patriots would like a more distinguished outside receiver than Brandon Lloyd. They have many skills accounted for on their offense, but world-class speed in a wide receiver isn't one of them, Wallace has that. Bill Belichick has spoken with great respect for Wallace's downfield ability and his ability to take a slant and go 70-yards if he hits a seam. So it isn't beyond imagination.

What makes the chance of Wallace coming to New England remote?

The Patriots don't traditionally go in with both feet for big name free agents. The last time they did, they got Adalius Thomas and all the headaches he brought. That was 2007. Additionally, the Patriots are normally top-of-the-line consumers when it comes to wideouts. They've never taken one in the first round since Bill Belichick has been in New England and the deals they've made for notable ones (Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco) came when both were persona non grata with their previous teams. Finally, the Patriots are traditionally impossible to crack in the early days of free agency, never mind the first few hours.

Checking with sources this morning, I've so far been unable to confirm the interest. It's also worth bearing in mind that the No. 1 contender for Wallace's services so far have been the Miami Dolphins. And if the Dolphins get wind the Patriots are after Wallace, Miami may feel compelled to make sure its best offer comes very early to fend off New England and sway Wallace from even visiting the Patriots when free agency opens. If they are, you know, interested.

I wonder if an NFL agent would put out that kind of red herring...

Anyway, we'll keep checking. Stay tuned.