Dolphins have edge on Wallace

BY Alex Marvez • March 9, 2013

The weather — and a whole lot of money — have given the Miami Dolphins an early edge in the free-agent bidding for Mike Wallace.

A source told that the Dolphins are the "lead dog" to land Wallace when the signing period officially opens at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.

The top wide receiver in the free-agent market after four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wallace was expected to draw offers from multiple teams that would average between $11 million and $12 million a season. But the steamy climate where the Dolphins are based could be the tiebreaker as Wallace mulls where to play.

"He prefers warm weather," the source said.

Wallace would be the speed threat that Miami's offense has lacked. Wallace has a 17.2-yard average per catch despite Pittsburgh shifting to a short passing offense in 2012.

The Dolphins already bolstered their wide receiver position earlier this week when re-signing Brian Hartline to a five-year contract extension. Miami still has ample room to sign Wallace as well.

NFL teams are now allowed to have contact with agents who represent players in the upcoming free-agent class. However, the league has said no contracts can be verbally agreed upon before the signing period begins.