NFL rumors have been running rampant this week with all the releases and signings. The latest one sees the ultra speedy Mike Wallace being released by the Minnesota Vikings, according to NFL. Management felt that he was not worth the $11.5 million that they were going to pay him. Rumors are floating around that Wallace could end up going back to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team that helped him gain spotlight in the first place.
Mike Wallace wasn’t an awful wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. He still managed to catch 39 passes for 473 yards. Stefon Diggs led all Vikings wide receivers with 52 catches, while Kyle Rudolph grabbed 49 receptions from the tight end position. At the very least, Wallace was useful for Minnesota. Unfortunately, though, when you’re being paid more than $10 million a season, you’re supposed to be much more than useful.
Releasing Mike Wallace means that the Minnesota Vikings are going to be looking for wide receiver help, both in free agency and through the upcoming NFL Draft. Stefon Diggs seems more like a number two wide receiver right now, so the team desperately needs to find a top flight catcher. If the Vikings want Teddy Bridgewater to become one of the better quarterbacks in the league, then they’re going to need to provide him with some weapons on offense.
As for Mike Wallace, his tenure in the NFL is far from over. He can still play in this league. Even though Wallace is about to turn 30-years-old, he still has an incredible amount of speed and can catch the deep ball well enough that teams are going to be willing to give him a chance to make their roster. The only difference this time around is that the New Orleans native is going to have to accept a much smaller contract than the one that the Miami Dolphins handed him in 2013.
Mike Wallace became an NFL star while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team that selected him in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Since there were 10 wide receivers chosen before him, Wallace came into the league with a chip on his shoulder. That extra boost of motivation turned him into a very good player. Wallace became the deep receiving threat that Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers needed.
Throughout the years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have proven that they are not hesitant to bring in former stars, even those that leave them to sign big contracts elsewhere in the NFL via free agency. That’s what Mike Wallace did when he accepted a $60 million contract from the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers know that football is a business, so they don’t hold a grudge against Wallace, which means that a reunion this summer is not off the table.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers opt to go elsewhere, then Mike Wallace would still have some options in the NFL. The New York Giants are rumored to be releasing Victor Cruz, so they might need a running mate for Odell Beckham Jr. As always, Bill Belichick is looking for offensive weapons for Tom Brady. The Dallas Cowboys could use a deep threat to alleviate some of the defensive pressure put on Dez Bryant.
Releases are a part of the NFL, especially if you’re one of those few players who happen to be rewarded with massive contracts. Mike Wallace should already understand that. His focus now should be on finding a new home in the National Football League. Wallace is still young enough to be a contributor, so he might as well take advantage of that opportunity because it will not be there forever.
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