Dolphins’ interest in receivers raises questions about Wallace’s future

The Dolphins have denied reports that they want to trade wide receiver Mike Wallace, and it appears highly unlikely that Wallace will play anywhere other than Miami this season. But there are big questions about whether Wallace has a future in Miami beyond 2014.

The latest question comes from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who reports that the Dolphins are closely scrutinizing several receivers they could take in the first or second round, including LSU’s Odell Beckham, USC’s Marqise Lee, Mississippi’s Donte Moncrief, Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. Jackson adds that “if the Dolphins do add a receiver in the first three rounds, it will raise questions about their intentions with Wallace in 2015 and beyond.”

The reality is that Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey probably doesn’t have any intentions with Wallace in 2015 and beyond. Hickey wasn’t in Miami when former G.M. Jeff Ireland signed Wallace, and Hickey probably thinks what most people think, which is that Ireland overpaid to acquire Wallace last year.

The Dolphins won’t trade Wallace not because they don’t want to, but because his contract makes it all but impossible. First, Miami would take an immediate cap charge of $8.8 million if Wallace is traded before June 1. Secondly, any team that trades for Wallace would be taking on his fully guaranteed salary of $15 million this season. That’s not going to happen.

So don’t be surprised if Hickey drafts a receiver this year who could replace Wallace as Miami’s No. 1 receiver next year.

79 responses to “Dolphins’ interest in receivers raises questions about Wallace’s future

  1. I don’t understand why Wallace would be the one?

    I think Hartline and his cap in 2015 is the real reason. Hartline is a great #2 but if we bump him up or a rookie, the Dolphins are losing the only player that causes mismatches.

    If you draft someone like Beckham or Cooks, your depth chart would ideally look like this.

    1 – Mike Wallace
    2 – Brandon Gibson
    3 – Cooks/Beckham
    4 – Rishard Matthews
    5 – Rookie

    Gibson has a much lower salary than Hartline and could replace him if he comes back from the injury strong.

  2. I thought I read just yesterday that the Palm Beach Post’s Andrew Abramson reported the Dolphins were looking for an eventual Brian Hartline replacement, not a Mike Wallace replacement?

  3. Or the Fins could be doing their due diligence on the best player to be available at their draft position.

    Rumors are out there about the Lions thinking about trading up for Sammy Watkins. It doesn’t mean that Calvin Johnson is not in their future……

  4. To follow up, I think of Julian Edelman. While he plays the slot and Wallace plays outside and runs nines all day, when it comes to production, who would you rather have? Thought so.

  5. Wallace’s agent quite simply took Ireland to the woodshed on that deal. He essentially handcuffed them the first 2 years regardless of Wallace’s results. Just an awful deal for Miami. Ireland was given the boot over the Martin fiasco but the reality is, he caused far more damage with deals such as this one. The Steelers were laughing as they waved goodbye to Wallace.

  6. Definitely a wise decision for them to take a good WR in draft, but no sooner than round 2…if they take one in round 1 it better be Evans (the Aggie…wonder if Tannehill played with him) or one of the other top guys. Waaaaaayyyy overpaid for Wallace! He’s just not that good, period.

  7. See, this is how it works: if Miami drafts a WR that’s the end for Mike Wallace.

    Because everyone knows you can’t have more than one receiver.

  8. Dolphin scouts come into my job all the time, when I ask them about Mike Wallace one of them gives me a smirk. He will play for them this season, but beyond that I am not sure. Unless we reach the AFC championship game or he leads the league in yardage

  9. These comments are about what is expected from people who don’t understand football. Omar kelly wrote it best, Miami didn’t pay Wallace to lead the league in yards, they paid him for his affect on defenses and opening up the passing game.

    Tannehill doubled his stats from his rookie season with a terrible o line situation and no Reggie Bush, most of that was Wallace’s affect on the defense.

  10. “The Dolphins adding a receiver will raise questions about Wallace’s future”

    No it won’t, unless they make a massive trade up from #19 to like #3 or #5 and then take a receiver.

    Hartline and Gibson were solid last year, but Gibson got hurt, and even Hartline was hurt a little towards the end of the year.

    Rishard Matthews has a lot of potential, but he’s not exactly some sort of super receiver, at least not yet.

    Mike Wallace may not have lit football fields on fire every time he was on the field last year, but I will continually remind people that it’s next to impossible for your #1 receiver to do a whole lot when your #1 QB is busy being sacked three plays in a row.

    This is the media creating a story where there doesn’t really appear to be one.

  11. Wallace is an excellent #2 receiver and the teams deep threat, but to be effective he needs a quality receiver opposite form him ( aka A. Brown in Pitt), if Miami were smart they’d draft that other receiver this season and use use Wallace in an effective receiving duo, not to mention Miami still needs a quality Running Back to take the pressure off Tannehill at QB.

  12. Unless they reach the AFC Championship?? You’re kidding, right? What a mess. Some of these teams just don’t have a clue.

  13. What’s lost in all this discussion is the story came from Barry Jackson, so we all know there is no truth behind it.

    Miami has to fill 2 o line spots with good players who they can count on being there for a while and still need to address the lb’s and depth at safety, much more pressing needs than wr right now. Wallace and hartline were 70 yards away from being the third pair of 1k yard receivers in the league, Miami is allowed to bring in 30 players to interview, anyone stop to think they are playing the game just like everyone else is, the pats have brought in a few qb’s to interview, does that mean Brady’s future is in doubt in NE in 2015? Come on people, your better than that.

  14. Wow. Even though there is absolutely ZERO possibility Wallace will be traded this year this is somehow a story? Anything can happen in the coming year on Miami’s side or Wallace’s so what’s the point? Yes, there is a new GM for the Dolphins so why is this just about Wallace? Wouldn’t it go for just about every player who was there before he got there? It’s almost like someone has an agenda against the Dolphins.

  15. For everyone who talks about Hartline being released: Thats it. Trade the only guy other than Clay on this team that can catch the football.

  16. Typical of teams with huge cap room and a GM with no brains. They also GROSSLY overpaid for Darnell Ellerbe….and he was mediocre at best. Also, what did Julius Peppers and Albert Haynesworth do for their teams?

    In Ozzie we trust.

  17. This article is pure speculation without considering all factors. Two of the Dolphin receivers are returning from serious injuries. Moreover having another speed receiver in case Wallace get’s injured gives some security to the Dolphin’s offense. Wallace is the only speed receiver and another is needed to keep the DB’s from overplaying.

  18. Ireland didn’t necessarily make a mistake by signing Wallace, the mistake was the amount of the contract while also having a young qb at the helm. Sure there was probably a chance, and there still is, that Tannehill and Wallace have great chemistry. I hope it happens, but when you pay a receiver that much money the hope better become a reality or else it makes the GM look foolish.

  19. Can we flashback to a year ago, when everyone said Wallace was the greatest receiver ever?
    To the Edelman comment, you know his number are all system-based, right. Welker, Edelman, Amendola – plug anyone into the slot position in NE and theyll have 100+ catches.

  20. Congratulations Mike Wallace on having a solid contract. You’re more than a ‘one trick pony’, you’re a smart businessman.

  21. Wallace is a space creator – now they need the “other guy” who can play off of him/vice versa.

  22. Wallace is a good receiver who stretches the field and presents serious matchup problems… but it’s hard for a deep route specialist to shine when his QB over or under-throws him every time he manages not to be sacked.

    Not a knock on Tannehill, either – I think he’s a good QB, just needs to work on his deep ball a bit and work through his reads more quickly. The o-line was the real issue; they were horrible and the kid was running for his life all year. Lamar Miller had a bad year too – not his fault either.

  23. Last season Tannehill & Wallace almost connected on a dozen deep bombs, IF they improve and connect on half of those we won’t be having this conversation next season. Still a big IF… & STILL THE ONLY UNDEFEATED SUPERBOWL CHAMPION IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL! #greatestofalltime

  24. Mike had a good thing in Pittsburgh, but he threw it away for the money. Can’t blame him really. Young 20 something sees cash. I’m glad AB realized and valued the ownership n stability of the Steelers franchise. There’s a reason some guys stick with a franchise and other guys with loads of talent end up journeymen. Character and maturity.

  25. In tannehill’s rookie season he was top 5 in the league in completion percentage of passes thrown 20yrds or more downfield, when he had a decent o line and run game, his numbers dropped because he does not have time to step into the throw or he has to throw on the run, not to mention in Sherman’s offense Wallace was often the 2nd or 3rd read. Get tannehill some time, he will produce. Don’t forget he is still learning having only 19 starts in college. He will be a to 10 qb and the leader of this team, he has all the talent to do so. Don’t know why he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for doing what he did this year with the o line debacle.


    The only undefeated champion in pro sports, not just the nfl.

  27. Those who think we overpaid for Wallace quickly have forgotten how frustrating it was to see Davone Bess and Brian Hartline as our starting WRs. I like Hartline and I am a 40 year Dolfan so don’t get me wrong. But we need a guy like Wallace and once he and THill and company play w/ a much improved O Line this year we will all be glad he is w/ us and not playing in NE or NY. That is the nature of free agency so we didn’t overpay to get him. We paid what was necessary. I am an IT consultant so I think I have a better understanding of these things. Someone is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them. I am all for drafting another speed guy and keeping Wallace and Hartline. Why not? The cap goes up every year.

  28. Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that all of the Edelman haters on here raced like the dickens to pick him up after week one of their fantasy leagues.

  29. RT never had an o-line in miami. Last season when they drafted reciever weapons but no line help I was waiting to see what they did in the draft.Nothing, so I was not surprised by miamis o-line play.As far as Wallace scaring D-fences he ran the same route every play. When he broke loose he would drop them. I hope him and RT get their timing down.I blame Sherman for a lot of our problems, we won games despite him,The fact Philbin did not step in and over ride him gives me pause.

  30. Just because the wide receiver market changed between last off season and this off season doesn’t mean the deal was a bad one. Last year top free agent receivers were receiving $45+ million contracts….Percy Harbin (yes I know he wasn’t technically a free agent but he signed a monster deal), Greg Jennings, and Mr. 60 minutes himself all signed huge deals.

  31. The Fins receivers weren’t the problem last year it was the revolving door Oline. That’s what they better be thinking about fixing in a big way.

  32. in round 1 id be surprised but if the value is there in round 2-3 you take the best available player and if its a WR fine, wallace is still the deep threat on that team with hartline and gibson injuried alot last year it makes sense to add another weapon for your QB.

  33. They should dump Wallace after June 1, but keep Brandon Gibson and Rishard Mathews because those two complement Tannehill better than Wallace ever could.

    Tannehill can play, but he’s not meant for the deep ball unless his pocket is less cluttered.

    With that o-line mess with or without the Incognito-Martin saga wouldn’t have saved him.

  34. Their primary slot WR Gibson is coming back from a major knee injury. Hartline and Wallace had solid seasons last year. Nothing wrong with seeing who is the best player available. If it’s a WR then get him in the slot or make him beat Hartline and Wallace.

  35. Wallace was not the number 1 option with Steelers and perhaps he could find success again not being the number 1 option in Miami. In Pitt he had opportunities to make plays because of the people around him. Then he decided to go the Diva route and believe he was the only reason anyone showed up to watch the game. Then Jeff Ireland ‘made it rain’ and that was that; ‘I got mine, now just make me look good’.

  36. Sorry Dolphin fans… but Wallace is so overrated! he is being paid like a top 10 WR and he is not even a top 25. He lacks the rout running and ability to make consistent, great catches.

  37. No it doesn’t. They are doing their due diligence to maintain a strong receiver corp. With the injuries to Hartline and Gibson, it simply makes since to look at receivers in a deep draft for them.

    As for Steelers fans still butt hurt over Wallace… look who’s picking before the Dolphins in the draft, and who lost to the Dolphins last year. Get over yourselves.

  38. Wallace is going No Where. 37 TDs in 5 yrs….the rest of the Dolphins WRs combined = 30 TDs

  39. I love Evans but he will be gone so trade back to 26 Cle can draft Carr and we can add Benjamin in the first a RT in the 2nd while adding a draft pick prolly in the 3rd to grab an OG. Benjamin can run deep routes and crossers and will fight for catches in traffic with a huge catch radius(Tannes deep accuracy is below average while Wallace is used properly all over the field making big runs after the short to intermediate catch and maybe Tanne can hit him deep more often. With the bad rule changes a big WR is at a big advantage as safeties cant explode into them anymore. Gibson or Hartline will be gone after next season leaving Wallace Benjamin and a safety valve in Hartline or Gibson.

  40. Hartline hurt his knee at the end of the seasons and bines gibson were also injured. I dont think will draft a high wr but it i guess it makes sense to keep eyes open just in case.

  41. Instead of trying to trade Mike Wallace, they better find a QB that can get him the ball on a more consistent basis. Otherwise none of them will be around beyond 2014 to trade Wallace.

  42. The problem is, like the Jets with Santonio, when the signed Wallace, Miami forgot to pick up Big Ben. It is the old saying, YMMV. LOL.

  43. It is all about drafting the best talent they can. If that is a WR so be it you can never have enough talent and competition on the team.

    Wallace would have had 10+ TD and over 1500 yards receiving had Tannehill hit him in stride.

    I would love to see Revis try and keep up with Wallace this season……

    Mike Wallace is not a problem he is the solution to our problems as soon as Tannehill hits him in stride more than not.

  44. Mike Wallace is a ME ME ME player. He is for himself and not the team. He has a big money contract and he can not live up to it because Miami is not a pass pass pass like Peyton Manning- Drew Brees type offense. Don’t fault Wallace for going for the money that Miami was TOO STUPID to offer him. Yes they OVERPAID for a 1 trick pony. However, in the NFL now a days, everyone threatens players with a “take a pay cut or we’ll cut you and you’ll earn less on the free agent market”. That is just how it works now. Would I like Wallace back in Pittsburgh? Yes – at a much lower price. Why? Because his speed stretches the field – not for his receiving skills though. He’s an average receiver. – Steeler fan.

  45. Well I guess if you subscribe to this article, that means the Patriots are going to replace Brady because of their interest I quarterbacks per an earlier article.

  46. Having had Sunday Ticket for the past fourteen years (and a DVR for 10), I have watched lots of NFL football. All 16 Dolphins games are recorded and analyzed during the offseason. The reality is that Mike Wallace is not an elite WR. He does not possess crisp route running skills, nor does he have good hands. He will not fight for a 50/50 ball, instead expecting it to fall in his “basket” and then out accelerate the defender covering him. Not once, in any of the balls that Tannehill under threw, did he make an attempt to knock the ball away from the defensive back. This either resulted in an interception, or a dropped interception attempt. Which brings me to Tannehill. I keep hearing he doesn’t have the arm strength to get the ball deep. People in Africa are aware of the fiasco that was the O-line, so I won’t beat a dead horse about the lack of pass protection. What I will point out is that regardless of the time afforded in the pocket, Tannehill simply held on to the ball too long. His pocket awareness is what needs the work. It was not the fact that he could not throw 60 yards, he most certainly can. It was, by the time he did throw the deep ball, Mike Wallace was past the point that any NFL Qb could deliver the ball accurately. Most we’re in the neighborhood of 65 yards from the point of release. The ball must come out of his hands .5-1 second earlier. The hands of stone then must actually work to catch the ball!

  47. the Dolphins got punked by Mike Wallace and his agent. Plain and simple. He’s a one trick pony (doesn’t go across the middle) that the Steelers were happy to let go. Now the Dolphins are understanding fully what the Steelers were talking about with Wallace.

  48. About those six rings in Pittsburgh….don’t forget the whole defense (Steel Curtain) and o-line were on steroids before there was testing and these was NO CAP OR FREE AGENCY. You could keep a team together for years. Those rings haven’t been coming so much recently. And I believe the Cardinals handed the superbowl to the steelers because of a stupid pass by their quarterback when they were on the Steeler 5 yard line and Harrison ran the ball back for 95 yards. Just dumb..dumb…dumb.

    OH…and didn’t the refs hand a game to the Steelers due to a rotten holding call against the Seahawks?

  49. He will be a great player for us once we fix the O Line. Hickey fixes the O Line and the entire team plays better, Wallace, THill, the backs, and the defense gets more rested. It will be reflected in the win column.

  50. Just love the comments from Steeler fans. You conveniently forget that your front office offered Wallace $52 million to stay but he decided to take $60.

    Face it boys your personnel guys wanted him to stay.

  51. Tannehill was 7-35 in passes over 30 yds. So why is everyone blaming Wallace? Well, when your WR constantly out runs the QBs arm, then it becomes a problem. Instead of releasing Tannehill, the Dolphins in all their glory would release Wallace. Tannehill was Philbins call along with now fired Mike Sherman who wanted Tannehill. Now Philbin, who hasn’t a clue of how to evaluate NFL talent, went along with his mentor Sherman,,,Well Sherman turned out to be the worst OC in Dolphin history and now they are stuck with a QB who, at 20 yds., couldn’t hit a bull in the azz with a bass fiddle.

  52. for all the people saying the dolphins overpaid for wallace: 2013 salary- $3.5 mil. 2014 salary- $15 mil. so the dolphins got him at 2 yrs for $9 million per year. thats all the money we owe him. So worst case scenario, we got the fastest receiver in the league for 2 yrs at a decent price. for those saying we overpaid, you are dead wrong. are there things I don’t like about his game? yes. but mike sherman had him running comeback routes every play, he also had wallace lining up wide right 90% last year. I mean thats just absurd to do that with any receiver let alone one that presents a mismatch by just being on the field. wallace consistently gets behind coverage multiple times every game. make no mistake, he’s the fastest guy on the field every game, and that is a huge advantage. I think the rest of the receiving core could use an upgrade. thats why we are doing are diligence.

  53. For everyone making the “one receiver” comments, the reason that drafting a wideout high in this year’s draft likely spells the end of Wallace’s time in Miami is that there is a salary cap. With a team that is in need of an offensive line, linebacking help, and a question mark at running back it looks like they’d rather not commit all that money if they can get someone with comparable speed and production for a tenth of the cost.

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