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Should the Bills make a play for Mike Wallace?

By Jay Skurski

With no end in sight to the contract dispute between Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's a good time to ask: Should the Buffalo Bills pursue the receiver in a trade?

First, the reasons for it.

The Bills' need for a proven No. 2 receiver opposite Stevie Johnson is well-documented. Wallace certainly has the credentials. In fact, he's got better career numbers than Johnson, with 171 catches, 3,206 yards and 24 touchdowns in three NFL seasons. He's also averaged 18.7 yards per catch, flashing the elite deep speed the Bills have lacked since they traded Lee Evans.

But while Wallace's skill set seemingly matches the Bills' need, it doesn't seem likely a trade between the two teams would work.

The first reason is always the most important: money. It's been reported Wallace wants a contract in the range of what the Arizona Cardinals gave Larry Fitzgerald -- eight years, nearly $50 million guaranteed with a potential maximum value of $120 million.

Even if he were to lower his demands, and he'll likely have to if a trade is to be worked out, it's still unlikely the Bills would be able to pay Wallace a big bonus in the same year they already have the highest-paid defensive player (Mario Williams) in NFL history.

From a salary cap perspective, the Bills could probably find a way to squeeze Wallace in, given they're about $8.5 million under the cap, and could create some more room.

But in actual cash spending, they're more than $18 million over the standard NFL salary cap of $120.6 million, according to Buffalo News estimates.

Knowing that, and that it might cost as much as a first-round draft pick in a trade, would you still be interested in acquiring Wallace? Let us know below.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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