Dolphins land Mike Wallace on five-year deal
This is the type of deal that Wallace was seeking, which is why the Steelers didn't feel comfortable trying to re-sign him. His average annual salary is almost $2 million more than Vincent Jackson, who was the top free agent receiver on the market last offseason.
Still only 26 years old, the Dolphins now have a receiver that should be effective immediately, but can also be taken into heavy consideration for their long-term plans. Wallace had a down year in 2012, but that was in part due to poor quarterback play when Ben Roethlisberger was hurt, and a new offensive scheme that did not go for the big play as frequently. I'd expect Wallace to return closer to his old form with the Dolphins.
The move turns the Dolphins' receiving core into a pretty strong unit, with a premier deep threat in Wallace, a solid No. 2 in Brian Hartline, and a strong possession/slot receiver in Davone Bess. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has the ability to make deep throws, but didn't have a true deep threat in 2012 - his rookie season. During his sophomore campaign, he'll have the luxury of heaving passes up to Wallace, who can simply take the top right off a defense, while using Hartline and Bess in roles that they are better suited for.
The Dolphins can now focus their draft picks in areas other than wide receiver - a position they were expected to address before the signing of Wallace and re-signing of Hartline. There's a decent chance that their first-round pick (12th overall) will be spent on a player in the secondary, as they ranked 27th against the pass last season. A player like Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State could be an option. They could also address the offensive line with a player like Chance Warmack out of Alabama.
As far as free agency, the Dolphins are now rumored to be going hard after tight end Jared Cook, formerly of the Titans. Adding a viable receiving option from the tight end spot could really solidify the Dolphins' passing attack and give them a core that should be strong for years to come.
With improvement out of Tannehill (he was always expected to take longer to develop than Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin), the Dolphins passing game could end being pretty strong in 2013.