When wide receiver Mike Wallace joined the Vikings last offseason in a trade with the Dolphins, there was a lot of talk about whether he’d be a happier and more productive member of the offense than he was in Miami.
There were no big complaints from Wallace over the course of the season, but there wasn’t much production either. Wallace had 39 catches for a career-low 473 yards and a career-low two touchdowns for the Vikings and closed out the year with one catch for 10 yards against the Seahawks. Wallace’s longest catch of the season was for 34 yards, which illustrates the general lack of big plays through the air in Minnesota this season.
Wallace’s lack of production makes it hard to imagine that he’ll be back under his current contract, which calls for Wallace to make $11.45 million in 2016. Coach Mike Zimmer said he was disappointed “that it wasn’t the season that he wanted or we wanted” and isn’t sure how things will work out, but knows that he’d be happy to have Wallace on the team next season.
“I would like him back, I love the kid, I love his heart,” Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He just went and worked every day and tried to get guys better. He loves it here, he loves Teddy. If it can get worked out, I’d like to have him back. But I want to do what’s best for Mike Wallace, too. I told most of the players that are free agents, that I want them to do what’s best for them. Obviously, I want them back. It’s important to me, they have shorter careers, not always than coaching, but they have shorter careers and it’s important for me to make sure that they get to the right place, whatever they feel is right.”
Based on the way the Vikings offense looked in 2015, it doesn’t appear Minnesota is the right place for Wallace. Miami wasn’t either, although the reasons are different and Zimmer’s words about the wideout should serve him well when he looks for the next stop.