The Minnesota Vikings will almost certainly select LT Matt Kalil with their No. 3 overall draft pick in late April. Because that means they would have to pass on Justin Blackmon, that means they could end up looking to free agency on Tuesday to find themselves a No. 1 wideout.
Though he is a restricted free agent, and would require the Vikings to render a first-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers to acquire him, WR Mike Wallace could end up being the best available receiver this offseason.
Wallace measures up at 6' tall and roughly 200 lbs. On top of having decent size, he very well could be the league's fastest receiver. His ability to stretch the field is just what the Vikings need to stay competitive with the other high-powered passing attacks in the NFC North.
The problem is, Wallace will be costly for the Vikings. Not only would they need to give up a first-round pick for his services, they would need to give him a pretty sizable contract on top of it.
The Vikings have roughly $23 million in cap space, which would be more than enough to sign Wallace. However, that money will likely be spread over multiple B- and C-level free agents that will be able to round out the team, instead of being used for one impact player.
If the Vikings could get Wallace for roughly $7-8 million, they would still have enough space to sign one or two other key free agents and their newly drafted rookies.
If Wallace settles for that kind of contract, and that's a big "if," that still leaves the issue of trading a first round pick—but that could be more do-able than you might expect.
I want to be clear when I say: In no way am I advocating for the trading of the third overall pick for Mike Wallace. However, if the Vikings are willing to give up enough, they could be able to move back up into the last few picks of the first round, and subsequently trade that pick to Pittsburgh for Mike Wallace.
The New England Patriots have two first-round picks in the 2012 draft. They'll likely make a selection with the pick they received from New Orleans, but their No. 31 overall pick could be up for the highest bidder if someone wanted to get back into the first round.
The Vikings have 10 picks in the 2012 draft, including the No. 35 overall pick just a few spots afterward. The Vikings might be able to offer their No. 35 pick and a second-rounder in 2013 get into the back of the first, and then send the pick to Pittsburgh for Wallace.
Again, this would imply that Wallace would not only be available at this point, but it would completely hinge on another team's willingness to trade.
A lot of things would have to go right for the Vikings to make this deal happen, but I don't think any Viking fan would turn down an opportunity to give up two second-round picks for one of the league's best young receivers.
If everything were to fall in place, Wallace could look good flying down the field in Purple and Gold.
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