In an interview with USA Today, Mike Wallace’s father (Mike Wallace III), stated that his son had been offered a $76 Million contract from the Minnesota Vikings. Since we now know that the former Pittsburgh Steelers WR signed with the Miami Dolphins, it is interesting to note that his current contract is $60 Million over five years.
This raises a serious question. Does he not have faith that Minnesota can win? Does he just enjoy the tropical weather in Miami more? Was the guaranteed money more of an incentive than an incentive based salary? Did the Vikings offer extend for more years than Miami’s offer?
Mike Wallace added a little more confusion to the story by giving some quotes to the reporters:
”In free agency, with so many great guys, when you get the prize deal, it’s always a good feeling. I just wanted to be happy. Money isn’t everything. A lot of people last year, when I held out in Pittsburgh, took it the wrong way, felt like I was just being greedy. I performed so well for so long, I just wanted to be well compensated. I feel I got a bad rep. Free agency paid off for me, but it was bittersweet. The money is not all I’m in it for. I want to be a great player — win Super Bowls, go to Pro Bowls continuously.”
So, to clarify, Wallace feels like Miami gives him a better chance to win Super Bowl Championships and earn Pro Bowl nods than Minnesota does despite the Vikings recent success. These statements make it sound as though no matter what the Vikings had thrown at the young Wide Receiver, that he wouldn’t have been interested.
A more likely situation is that the Dolphins offered Mike Wallace a smaller contract with more guaranteed money for less years. One of the players included in the Steeler’s “Young Money” crew makes it hard to believe that the cash isn’t the most important thing in the man’s career.
Of course, his father came to his defense once again to make a statement:
“I know this: He’s going to give Miami their money’s worth. Dolphins fans are going to love him. He worked hard and deserved everything he got. So don’t call him selfish.”
For the money that the Dolphins paid him, he had better become a true #1 Wide Reciever in the NFL while showing more consistency and softer hands than he did in Pittsburgh. In the meantime, the Vikings will just have to make due with their prize free agent pass catcher, Greg Jennings.