While being released by the Minnesota Vikings sends out a signal of Mike Wallace no longer being worth the money he was supposed to be paid in 2016, he might still end up going back there or even the Pittsburgh Steelers who are in need of a wide receiver, while the Baltimore Ravens have also shown interest in him.
Wallace signed a five year, $60 million contract in 2013 with the Miami Dolphins which is safe to say he hasn’t lived up to. Wallace, a Pro Bowler in 2011 and having two seasons of over 1100 yards with the Steelers, has only 2265 yards over the last three seasons, including a career low 473 yards in 16 games with the Minnesota Vikings last season. The Vikings aren’t exactly a pass happy team, but for one of the self-proclaimed best receivers in the NFL this isn’t the kind of production you expect.
Wallace had two more seasons left on his deal worth $11.5 million each in cap hits, which the Vikings had no reason to stick with given that releasing him came with no dead money repercussions. But considering the free agency market and the draft which isn’t filled with (right now) immediate, huge impact receivers, Wallace has enough of market value, although obviously for a smaller salary.
The Steelers, besides their familiarity with Wallace who played for them from 2009 to 2012 which included going to the Super Bowl once, have a problem now that Martavis Bryant is suspended for the entire season. Wallace is no longer the financial problem he posed when they decided not to retain him, and with a better quarterback and in a more pass-friendly environment, the 29-year old might still have a lot to give.
Wallace was a third round pick in 2009 coming out of Ole Miss. He led the NFL in yards per receptions during his rookie season and overall has 6307 yards on 414 career receptions coming with 49 touchdowns (just two last season, had 10 in 2014). He has missed only one game during his seven-year career.