The Miami Dolphins would love to bring wide receiver Brian Hartline back to the team. It sounds like progress is being made on that front. But don't let the interest in Hartline distract you from the Dolphins' true top target.
NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported Wednesday that "Plan A" for the Dolphins includes a wideout group of Hartline, Davone Bess and Mike Wallace. The Dolphins know Wallace will cost a lot (probably more than what Bowe received from the Kansas City Chiefs) and they sound ready to spend.
According to Darlington, the Dolphins' offseason plan "all starts" with bringing Wallace aboard (seriously, check out the piece). It sounds like they are willing to do it at nearly any cost. The Dolphins also expect the Minnesota Vikings to join the bidding for Wallace (which might make Percy Harvin available in a trade. Spicy). But the Dolphins don't sound interested in wide receiver Greg Jennings, Darlington writes.
Paying Hartline more than $6 million per season and Wallace more than, say, $12 million per season smacks of desperation as Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland enters a contract year. It's putting a lot of resources into one area, in large part because Ireland has struggled so much in finding playmakers during his tenure. Ireland also has to worry that any free-agent haul that doesn't include Wallace would be viewed as a disappointment. There aren't any logical backup plans in free agency.
The good news: Wallace is the type of productive young player that rarely hits free agency. His deep speed matches up nicely with Ryan Tannehill's big arm. Ireland knows that he's running out of time to turn the Dolphins around, and he's not going to let all that salary-cap space go to waste.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.