With most teams experiencing irrational fear over tampering charges if they reach agreement with free agents during a period where negotiations intended to culminate in, you know, agreements are permissibly occurring, it’s still OK for teams to make it known that they have interest in a player.
Especially if they don’t really have interest.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Patriots are showing interest in Steelers receiver Mike Wallace.
As Salguero points out, interest and a contract are two very different things. At a minimum, the Pats could be applying the Jedi mind trick to a Dolphins organization that already is motivated, by all appearances, to pursue Wallace. If the Patriots can dupe the Dolphins into devoting more cash and cap space on a player whom they covet, it’s an advantage for the Pats, who compete directly with the Dolphins in the AFC East.
New England rarely does a cannon ball into the deep end of the free-agent pool. It’s not unprecedented (e.g., Adalius Thomas), but it’s not common. Unless they can persuade Wallace to take less than he’ll be offered elsewhere, signing Wallace would be an unlikely expenditure of the cap space Tom Brady’s new deal helped create.