Mike Wallace: Is he worth his massive salary to the Vikings?


This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings went out and got wide receiver Mike Wallace in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.  There’s no hiding the fact that the team was intrigued in the deep-threat pass catcher after trying to woo him during free agency in 2013.  Instead, the Vikings ended up settling for an aging Greg Jennings, who is now ironically a member of the Dolphins.

While the acquisition of Mike Wallace adds a great deep threat to the Vikings roster, it also carries with it a significant investment.  Not only did it cost the Vikings a fifth round pick to get him, but they also now have to deal with a huge contract that could come back to haunt the team if he doesn’t produce like an elite pass catcher.

Here are the salaries that Mike Wallace would be due for the next three years of his contract according to Spotrac.com:

Nov 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) runs to scores touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Detroit won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

2015: $9.9 million

2016:  $11.5 million

2017:  $11.5 million

The major question that arises is this:  how successful will Mike Wallace have to be in order to be a good return on investment for the team?  OverTheCap.com lists him as having the seventh highest cap hit among wide receivers in the National Football League for the 2015 season.  That means that Wallace is getting paid like an elite receiver.

Personally, I believe that Wallace will have to have close to 900 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns during the 2015 season to earn that payday.  To put that in perspective, during his 6 seasons in the league so far, he has had more than 900 yards three times and has only had 9 or more touchdowns twice.

The guys over at 120 Sports recently debated the value Wallace brings to the team.  Here is what they said:

The major factor in the Vikings having Mike Wallace could be finally having the threat of a player that can take advantage of the long ball.  Forcing defenses to account for Wallace will open things up underneath and take a man out of the box that could be used to (try to) stop Adrian Peterson.  That is the reason I say that the 900 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns would be the goal.

What do you think?  What kind of stat line do you think it would take for the Vikings to call their investment in Mike Wallace a success?  And do you feel that his threat on the long ball helps take some of the weight off those expectations?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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