PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mike Wallace is officially an “old guy” now. The veteran wide receiver will turn 32 before his 10th NFL season, which will be with the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles, after they signed the speedy Wallace on Thursday to a one-year, $2.5-million deal, which could reach $4 million with incentives.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Wallace says he can still run a 4.3-second in the 40-yard dash. He led an anemic Baltimore Ravens offense in receptions last season, with 52 catches for 748 yards and four touchdowns. Two years ago, Wallace caught 72 passes for 1,017 yards for the Ravens. He’s certainly an upgrade over Torrey Smith, who had 36 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns—and though a great locker room guy, also dropped numerous catchable balls last season.
This will be the fourth team Wallace will be with, and he said an added incentive to come to Philadelphia was to play with Carson Wentz, which had “99% (to do with it), the other 1% was the rest of the team,” Wallace said, laughing.
One thing you don’t want to do with Wallace is label him with the “deep threat” role.
“I plan on doing whatever the coaches need me to do,” said Wallace addressing the media on Friday. “I plan on making plays, if it’s a short pass, a long pass, I’m with it all, and it doesn’t matter to me. That (deep threat label) is a stereotype. I caught a lot of deep passes, but I’ve caught a lot of short passes, too.
“When one person says something, a lot of people just piggyback off it and you get a stereotype. I don’t care. I’m over 8,000 yards, 60 touchdowns (actually 57 TD receptions), 500 catches, you just don’t that running go routes.
“This is my 10th year. I thought this was my best opportunity to make a run. You can’t play this game forever. You don’t want to come out feeling empty. I want to get a (Super Bowl) ring in it. Like I said, this team is good. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get back, but at the same time, I heard great things about this group of guys that’s ready to work. I’m just going to fall in line.”
Wallace says adjusting to the Eagles’ offense and Wentz shouldn’t take much time to build a relationship. He has the offseason and training camp, though he won’t have that kind of normal time with Wentz, since he’s still rehabbing his injured left knee.
“It’s about learning your quarterback,” Wallace said. “You can work on (adjustments and ball placement) by watching film and things like that. Until he gets out, there’s no way he can simulate that. I think (Wentz) is a great, young quarterback who’s fired up. Whatever extra reps we need to get to try to get up to speed and get it going, I’m all for it.”