Two years ago when the Vikings pursued Mike Wallace in free agency, the receiver reportedly spurned the team less because of money and more because he simply did not want to play in the cold weather of Minnesota.
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Yesterday the Vikings finally landed Wallace, the free agent they once coveted so much they were willing to even outbid the Dolphins, by trading a fifth round pick to Miami.
Now Wallace must play outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium in the hinterlands of the upper Midwest whether he likes it or not.
Reportedly, Wallace likes it not.
If you’re keeping score, that makes it two unhappy superstars on the Vikings. Two superstars who would probably rather not play in Minnesota.
Not only are Adrian Peterson and Mike Wallace both reportedly disgruntled, they are also both very expensive. This season, Wallace will count $9.9 million against the Vikings’ cap. And his contract will reportedly not be restructured.
Peterson counts $15 million against the Vikings’ cap and his contract also may not be restructured (unless the restructure is followed by a trade).
How will the Vikings make this work cap-wise? By restructuring or cutting Greg Jennings and/or Chad Greenway. Probably.
Remember that Minnesota is also possibly trying to sign Michael Johnson, who won’t be super-expensive after being cut by Tampa Bay, but may still command a decent salary especially if other teams get in on the bidding.
Cap situations are relatively easy to work out, if you have a smart cap specialist like Rob Brzezinski. It’s a little harder dealing with the hard feelings of players who for whatever reason have decided they do not want to be a part of your organization.
The Vikings have to hope that when Mike Wallace gets into Winter Park and begins interacting with teammates he will lighten up a little bit and decide Minnesota isn’t such a bad place after all.
Sure, Minneapolis isn’t Miami. But Wallace needs to look on the bright side: He’s still being paid a ton of money, and now he’s on a team with a legitimate budding star quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. And he might be playing with Adrian Peterson. And his coach is the highly-respected Mike Zimmer. And his OC is Norv Turner, a man who knows a thing or two about using speedy downfield receivers.
All-in-all, Mike Wallace got a nice deal being sent to Minnesota. Now he just has to hold up his end or he won’t be the only one frowning.
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