Mark Craig at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wonders whether the Vikings signing Mike Wallace was a good idea:
“For a guy who scored 60 million bucks a couple of years ago, Mike Wallace sure sounds like he spends way too much time complaining.
“He complained about Todd Haley’s offense at the end of his four-year stint in Pittsburgh. He complained often about his role while cashing $27.1 million worth of Dolphins checks the past two years. Heck, there were reports that then-Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland had to escort a visibly angry Wallace off the field after he caught one pass for 15 yards in a 23-10 win over the Browns. And that was after his FIRST game as a Dolphin!
“And, yes, not surprisingly, there are now reports that he’s not too happy about trading in South Beach for Eastern Eden Prairie. I’m sure the Dolphins were chuckling about that possibility when they traded for Saints deep threat Kenny Stills and were looking for places to send Wallace on a one-way go route.
“So if you were to ask me what I think about Wallace joining the Vikings, I’d have to say, ‘I’ll let you know.’ I’ll let him determine whether he’ll be the No. 1 receiver the Vikings covet for Teddy Bridgewater’s next step or a moody malcontent who threatens to be a drag on the second-year quarterback’s promising progression.”
I’ve a sneaking suspicion that this signing is going to work out pretty well for both the Vikings and Wallace. Wide receivers are a different breed and sometimes diva behavior comes the the territory. Head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t the kind of guy who is going to put up with much nonsense. Wallace is going to find himself fitting into the middle of quite a bit more structure and discipline than he likely had with the Dolphins under Joe Philbin.
Wallace was a star with the Steelers. He averaged yards 19.4 yards per catch as a rookie in 2009 and increased that number to 21.0 in his second season. But his performance plummeted with the Dolphins and that could be a concern.
I’m inclined to cut Wallace a break here. He was stuck with one of the worst deep throwing quarterbacks in the league in Ryan Tannehill in Miami and, as a result, the Dolphins rarely threw the long ball, Wallace’s specialty. The guess here is that he’ll do considerably better with Bridgewater in Norv Turner‘s offense. All in all this could be an opportunity to revive his career and I’m sure he knows that.
You have to like the direction that the Vikings are headed in. With Wallace to boost the passing game and the likely (in my opinion) return of Adrian Peterson, they are going to be a problem for everyone in the NFC North. With the Detroit defense falling apart up front and very possibly in the midst of a similar transition to the 3-4 to what the Bears are undergoing, they look like the primary challengers to the Packer’s dominance of the division in 2015.