The Miami Dolphins landed coveted wide receiver Mike Wallace and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe on Tuesday, first day of the NFL free agency signing period.
“The ink is dry and it’s official,” the Dolphins tweeted on their official Twitter feed. “Please welcome @Wallace17_daKid to the Miami Dolphins!”
Wallace signed a five-year, $60 million deal with Dolphins and includes $30 million in guarantees, according ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. He will roughly average about $12 million per year, making him the third highest paid receiver behind Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald.
Wallace was selected in third round of the 2009 draft out of Mississippi with the 84th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In four years with the Steelers he had 235 receptions for 4,042 yards and hauled in 32 touchdowns. Wallace’s best year for the Steelers was in 2011 when he had 1,193 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, which earned him his first Pro Bowl selection.
“He has a unique skill set which we believe will be a welcome addition to our offense,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement.
The 25-year-old Wallace will now be a blazing deep threat that can spread the defense for the Dolphins since their wideouts totaled three touchdowns last season. The Dolphins were ranked 27th last year in offense with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the helm.
Wallace will now join the Miami receiving core of Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. The Dolphins re-signed Hartline on Friday to a five-year deal for nearly $31 million.
The Dolphins did not end their free-agent signing with Wallace, but they also managed to lure away Baltimore Ravens free-agent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, according to The Baltimore Sun. Ellerbe’s deal is worth $35 million over five years, according to the paper.
The 27-year-old Ellerbe became the Raven’s best defensive player by the end of the team’s Super Bowl campaign. He was second on the team with 89 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
The Dolphins are hopeful that the addition of Wallace and Ellerbe can get them into the playoffs and make them a contender in the AFC East.