The Dolphins traded No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace and a seventh-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth-round pick. Wallace led Miami last year in receiving yards (862), touchdowns (10) and was second in receptions (67). However, the Dolphins gave Wallace away for very little because their brass didn't believe it could deal with the receiver for another year.
Miami's move was essentially a salary and a personality dump. Wallace was not a bad person. In fact, Wallace never got into off-field trouble, was one of the hardest workers on the team and last year sacrificed his game, which is the deep ball, to fit into Bill Lazor’s quick-hitting offense.
But Wallace was outspoken. Like most good receivers, Wallace wanted the football and wanted to make big plays. His flaw was he couldn’t hide his emotions and frustration from coaches, teammates or even media when it didn’t happen.
Things finally boiled over in the regular-season finale against the New York Jets when Wallace was benched in the second half for a sideline altercation. That, essentially, was the beginning of the end for Wallace in Miami. But it didn’t have to be that way.
The situation with Wallace was not beyond repair. The Dolphins could have made it work. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill said recently at a charity event that he cleared the air with Wallace. Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey also reportedly had a positive meeting with Wallace this offseason. Chances are Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and his staff didn't want to deal with the potential of Wallace being unhappy next season if he didn't get enough opportunities.
Not all 53 players are going to be silent types. Sometimes teams must deal with outspoken players, especially if the tradeoff is for talent, which Wallace has plenty of. Wallace was a mild headache by NFL standards, not a migraine. Philbin and his staff must learn to better manage these kinds of personalities in the future instead of giving up on them.
The Ndamukong Suh signing was a home run for Miami. The Kenny Stills trade with the Saints, while also getting rid of overpriced linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, was a nice double. I also like the Jordan Cameron signing as long as his concussion issues don’t resurface in Miami.
But there is not much to like about this Wallace trade. Miami is a .500 team trying to get to the next level, and it’s harder to accomplish that by giving up arguably the best deep-ball receiver in the league for a lowly fifth-round pick.