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Former Steelers WR Mike Wallace becomes division rival after signing with Ravens

Written by Alex Iniguez on .

 

Remember this guy?

That's right, it's Mike Wallace, a speedy wide receiver who recorded 4,042 receiving yards for the Steelers from 2009-12. He left in 2013 for Miami and then last year for Minnesota, where he had 473 receiving yards. The Vikings released him March 8.

Now he'll get to play the Steelers twice a year as a member of the division-rival Baltimore Ravens, who announced a two-year deal with the wideout Tuesday.

The 2011 Pro Bowl selection didn't put up more than 1,000 receiving yards in any of his three seasons since leaving the Steelers, but he had Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater throwing to him. Now, he'll have Joe Flacco, who is notorious for throwing the ball deep. That fits in well with Wallace's style as a deep threat, especially as Steve Smith Sr. is in the final year of his contract and, likely, career.

Wallace, now 29, didn't have much playoff success in Pittsburgh, recording 151 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in five games, but he did average 17.2 yards per catch and haul in 14 touchdowns of 40 yards or longer from Ben Roethlisberger over the span of his Steelers tenure.

Hall of Famer Lynn Swann once took a jab at Wallace on NFL Network, saying: "We’ve had receivers in Pittsburgh who had great speed who could do a lot of good things but they went down to Miami and they didn’t make all of the catches they should make."

Ultimately, Wallace leaving for Miami in 2013 allowed the Steelers to keep Antonio Brown. That's a good thing. Brown has turned into possibly the best receiver in the league, while Wallace has not. Still, Wallace has talent. If the Ravens can capture some of what Wallace showed when he wore black and gold, they can pose a serious threat to a Steelers secondary that needs some work.

Regardless of if he torments the Steelers or doesn't make a difference at all, Wallace rejoining the AFC North is an interesting story line that allows us to look back on his time in Pittsburgh — and fans to heckle the newest member of a fierce rival.

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