Drops in finale probably sealed end of Mike Wallace's underappreciated run

Mike Wallace resurrected his career in his two seasons with the Ravens. Jamison Hensley/ESPN.com

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Mike Wallace's underappreciated run with the Baltimore Ravens officially ended Thursday night, when the veteran wide receiver reached an agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles.

But his time in Baltimore probably was over after his dropped passes in a crushing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the season finale, which eliminated the Ravens from the postseason. Those mistakes were punctuated this offseason, when Baltimore coach John Harbaugh repeatedly talked about getting receivers who can catch the ball. The Ravens then signed John Brown, a younger deep threat who has shown better hands than Wallace over his career.

Even the contract that Wallace received from the Super Bowl champions indicated the Ravens had moved on from him. Wallace signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal. The Ravens signed Brown for double that at one-year, $5 million.

Wallace was undervalued for his leadership, work ethic and production. He was typically one of the last players off the practice field, spending time on the Jugs machine. A charismatic personality, Wallace got many of the younger receivers such as Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore to put in extra work with him after workouts.

While Wallace was never a Pro Bowl receiver, he was the best Baltimore had during his time here. In his two years with the Ravens, Wallace totaled a team-best 1,765 yards receiving. No other Ravens player had more than 800 yards receiving during that span.

He often joked that he was a better player now despite not being as fast as his early days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Still a big-play talent, Wallace totaled an NFL-leading eight catches of 50 or more yards in 2016 and 2017. No one else in the league had more than six.

Wallace leaves some fine memories behind. He delivered such big plays as the 95-yard touchdown against the Steelers, and he made an unbelievable one-handed touchdown grab against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The departure of Wallace falls in line with general manager Ozzie Newsome's statement that the team was going to revamp the wide receiver position, which is understandable after how the passing game has sputtered. The Ravens' top two receivers are gone from last season. Wallace is in Philadelphia, and Jeremy Maclin was cut.

Baltimore addressed the position early in free agency, signing Brown and Michael Crabtree. The Ravens continue to look to add at wide receiver, showing interest in free agent Allen Hurns and bringing in restricted free agents Willie Snead and Cameron Meredith for visits.

In terms of free-agent additions, Wallace didn't set team records like Derrick Mason and he didn't bring a Super Bowl title to Baltimore like Anquan Boldin. But the Ravens were a better team on the field and in the locker room for having Wallace the past two seasons.