This is a big week for the Miami Dolphins as free agency begins on Tuesday. They already made the most significant move possible by agreeing to a $114 million contract with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who is a game-changer for the Dolphins.
But Miami also has another important deadline with its second highest-paid player in 2015. The team has six days left to decide what to do with No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace, who led the team last year in receiving yards (862) and touchdowns (10). Wallace also had a verbal altercation on the sideline in a Week 17 loss to the New York Jets and was benched in the second half, which leads to questions of whether he will return.
Next Sunday, $3 million of Wallace’s $9.9 million salary is guaranteed if he remains on Miami’s roster. The Dolphins reportedly have explored multiple avenues, including a trade and asking Wallace to take a pay cut. Both seem unlikely with less than a week remaining.
The Chicago Bears' trade of receiver Brandon Marshall to the Jets last week provided a good litmus test for what a high-priced star receiver can get in the trade market. The Bears made the move to dump salary and only received a fifth-round pick in return. The Dolphins would not be wise to do a similar trade with Wallace just to get him off the books. His production would not be easy to replace.
It appears the Dolphins must choose this week between releasing Wallace or keeping him at a $9.9 million salary. My take all along is the problem is fixable and the two sides should be able to make it work for at least another season.