Talk about buyer's remorse.
Just one year removed from signing Mike Wallace to a five-year, $60-million contract, the Miami Dolphins have reportedly put the speedy wide receiver on the trade block, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:
Fins have renewed attempts to trade WR Mike Wallace during the league meetings. Teams doing homework on him. Contract makes it a tough trade— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 26, 2014
Some around the league wonder if a DeSean Jackson for Mike Wallace trade would make sense for all parties— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 26, 2014
However, Armando Salguerro of the Miami Herald is reporting that no such talks are happening:
The Dolphins have spoken to NO ONE about trading WR Mike Wallace -- not at annual meeting, not before annual meeting, not at all. Move on.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 26, 2014
Wallace was a disappointment in his first season with the Dolphins, catching 73 passes for 930 yards and just five touchdowns (a career low). Remember, this is a player that combined for 2,450 yards and 18 touchdowns in the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Part of the reason the Dolphins will be looking to move Wallace—and why they might have difficulty doing so, as La Canfora pointed out—is that gigantic contract. Bill Barnwell of Grantland breaks down just how severe Wallace's cap hit is:
Same is true for Mike Wallace. $17.3 million cap hit (ouch) if he stays, $23.8 million in dead money if he leaves. http://t.co/RNwIQSISBz— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) March 2, 2014
But there might also be questions about Wallace's attitude. Reports emerged after the first game of the 2013 NFL season that Wallace was unhappy with his usage after making just one catch for 15 yards.
On the other hand, the Dolphins denied they were shopping Wallace when similar rumors emerged earlier in March. And at the owner's meetings on Tuesday, head coach Joe Philbin talked about how he wanted to see the connection between starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Wallace improve next season, via Chris Perkins of the Sun Sentinel:
We’ve got to connect more on the vertical throws down the field. Some of it’s the timing between the two guys, some of it’s ball location, some of it’s on the receiver being in the exact right spot, the quarterback and receiver being on the same page.
It’s going to be a focal point for us moving forward. We’ve got to increase our explosive plays. We’ve got to score more points. We just have to. So that’s a part of it. It’s not the only part, but it’s part of it.
Hardly the comments you'd expect from a head coach who believes his top receiver is being shopped. Still, where there is smoke there is generally fire, and the Dolphins may simply be gauging interest around the league in Wallace, similar to what the Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly doing with DeSean Jackson.
If Wallace were indeed shipped out this offseason, it would represent one of the pricier mistakes a team has made in free agency in recent years. It would also leave Miami bereft of any game-changing players at the skill positions, though this year's draft is pretty loaded at wide receiver.
It's hard to imagine the Dolphins blowing up the offensive line and the wideout position in the same offseason. It's also hard to imagine another team taking on Wallace's salary.
What isn't hard to imagine is that, after just one year, the team is experiencing some buyer's remorse.