The free-agency period opened with the Dolphins bagging receiver Mike Wallace, via a five-year, $60 million deal. Now, Wallace’s father claims that the former Steeler could have had more.
And we’re not buying it.
According to Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, Mike Wallace Jr. said that the Vikings made a better offer.
“The [Vikings] had come to the point where they were telling him, ‘You don’t have to live here, just be here during the season,’” Wallace’s father said. “He wanted to get out of that snow and cold weather.”
Widespread perception throughout the league during the three-day tampering period and the hours before Wallace had a deal in place with the Dolphins was that the Dolphins had no real competitor for Wallace’s services. If the Dolphins actually had managed to get Wallace without having to be the highest bidder, the Dolphins would have found a way to get the word out on that point — especially in light of the chronic suggestion in recent years that players don’t want to play in Miami.
Having the biggest name in this year’s free agency class choose the Dolphins for less money than he could have gotten elsewhere would have been huge news for the home team.
Besides, the Vikings weren’t in position to make a serious run at Wallace until the day before the market opened, when a deal was struck to send receiver Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. By then, the Dolphins had the foundation in place for a deal that was wrapped up quickly once the new league year began.
We’re not saying Wallace’s father is lying. It’s far more likely that facts got blurred and/or bastardized in translation. Something as simple as an offhand comment from Wallace that he wouldn’t go to Minnesota even if the Vikings were offering more money can quickly (and innocently) be twisted into a belief that more money was actually offered.
If that were the case, the Dolphins would have made an effort over the past 16 days to get many others to believe that, too.