Mike Wallace on his two years with Dolphins: 'It's all love on my end'
The Dolphins, who signed Wallace to a five-year, $60 million deal in 2013, might feel differently
We don't want to be that guy ... but, well, we were pretty sure at the time that signing Mike Wallace to a five-year, $60 million deal was a terrible decision by the Dolphins. Of course, we're not original in thinking that; just about everybody not in Miami's front office was saying as much.
Still, hope can be blinding, which is exactly why the organization forked over all that money. And here was Wallace's father a few months after the inked dried on the deal but before Wallace took the field for the Dolphins.
"I know this: He's going to give Miami their money's worth. Dolphins fans are going to love him. He worked hard and deserved everything he got. So don't call him selfish."
Yeah, about that.
The experiment lasted two years, and by the time Wallace was shipped to Minnesota for a late-round pick, he had played in just 32 games for the Dolphins, and amassed 140 receptions, 1,792 yards and 15 touchdowns. His 12.8 yards-per-catch average were a career low up to that point (he bottomed out in 2015, when it hit 12.1 YPC with the Vikes), and Wallace looked nothing like the deep threat that averaged more than 20 YPC in his first two seasons in the league.
But there is a silver lining to all the unmet expectations: Wallace, who now plays for the Ravens, got paid. The Ravens and Dolphins meet Sunday.
"I have no regrets," Wallace said, via the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley. "They gave me a lot of money in two years. I have no grudge, no nothing against those guys. It's all love on my end. My life is a lot better because of those guys."
That must warm the cockles of owner Stephen Ross' heart.
Wallace's Miami career ended with him on the bench -- literally. He and then-coach Joe Philbin had a falling out in the 2014 season finale, and there were accusations that Wallace had quit on his team. That came up too.
"I never quit on my team," Wallace said on Wednesday. "That wasn't the case. I would never do that. I worked hard every day. When you do that you want certain production from yourself and everybody. It was a frustrating incident where you wanted to do well and wanted the team to do well, and it just wasn't going that way. I would never do anything to quit on my team."
Meanwhile, Wallace had a resurgence in Baltimore; he has 51 receptions for 792 yards and four touchdowns, even though the Ravens' offense is one of the league's most inept. The unit ranks 30th, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, ahead of only the Texans and Rams.
The Dolphins, under first-year coach Adam Gase, rank 13th (21st in passing, third in rushing). And in terms of value per play among wideouts, Miami's 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker (41 catches, 549 yards, two TDs) ranks ahead of Wallace (23rd vs. 37th).
Despite things not working out in those two seasons, Wallace is looking forward to facing the Dolphins, even if that wasn't evident in this tweet he sent last Sunday, shortly after the Ravens beat the Bengals:
7 days!— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) November 27, 2016
"It's exciting to play against my old team," he said. "A lot of people probably took [the tweet] the wrong way. But I have nothing against those guys. It just didn't work out."
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