Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace is heading into his second year with the organization after signing a big five-year contract worth $60 million ($30 million of it guaranteed) in 2013, and he had a career-high 73 receptions last season with 930 receptions and five touchdowns. However, Wallace was paid to be a playmaking deep threat in the Dolphins offense, and that’s where he was lacking with a career-low average of 12.7 yards per reception (an uncharacteristic number for sure) and some frustrating drops, which aren’t a surprise either.
Wallace is in line for better things in 2014, and the Dolphins passing attack has massive upside with Ryan Tannehill heading into his third year and Wallace, the reliable Brian Hartline, the underrated Brandon Gibson, talented rookie Jarvis Landry, mis-match generator Charles Clay, and solid pass-catching RB Knowshon Moreno around him. Wallace, of course, is at front and center as the big money man, and he provides the ‘Fins with the most playmaking ability due to his incredible speed.
In an interview with Sky Sports’s Neil Reynolds, Wallace stated that he would like to return kicks for the Dolphins next season, “I might get back there for kickoff returns. I just want to be on the field making an impact for my team. I’ve always wanted to return kicks ever since I’ve been in the NFL.”
It looks like Wallace wants nothing more than to make good on every penny the Dolphins are paying him, as he would like to make plays in any way that he can. He lamented the team’s missed opportunities last season, as they disappointingly missed out on a playoff spot in a weak back-end of the AFC playoff picture. He stated that he was unable to return kicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers because the team didn’t want him to be hurt, but I’m sure Antonio Brown’s excellent work on returns had something to do with that. We’ll see if Joe Philbin grants Wallace his wish, but the big key for the Dolphins will be the big plays in the passing game. His lack of chemistry with Tannehill (mostly on those all-important deep passes to open things up for the offense) has still been a talking point through offseason workouts, so hopefully that changes soon.