In my post on Sunday’s awful outing at TCF Bank Stadium against the Green Bay Packers, I aired my opinion on the value of having wide receiver Mike Wallace on the roster. I’m not the only one wondering if Wallace was this year’s worst acquisition for the Vikings, as Judd Zulgad clearly feels the same way:
Mike Wallace arrived in Minnesota last March with the reputation for being a headache off the field but with the promise of being a dynamic playmaker on it.
The Vikings’ hope was that Wallace could serve as the team’s deep threat in the passing game and that the chemistry he would develop with Teddy Bridgewater would keep everyone happy.
According to all accounts from Winter Park, Wallace hasn’t created any issues in the locker room and has been pleasant enough to be around. Unfortunately, for the Vikings, Wallace hasn’t come close to living up to expectations and, unless something turns around quickly, his stay in purple will be a short one.
The statistics don’t tell the story of how ineffective Wallace has been.
The 29-year-old wide receiver is third on the Vikings with 28 catches for 318 yards and a touchdown. A guy who was supposed to stretch the field has a season-long gain of 22 yards.
Through 10 games, Wallace is the biggest disappointment on the Vikings’ roster and it would not be unfair to label him a bust.
Zulgad also pulls up a statistic which surprised me as much as it seems to surprise him: “Pro Football Focus has Wallace with only four drops this season, but anyone who has watched the Vikings on a regular basis would put that number closer to 10.” I haven’t been able to watch every game this season, but I was pretty sure I’d seen Wallace do his patented butterfingers routine on at least a dozen passes.
Zulgad also senses the growing inevitability of the end of Wallace’s time with the Vikings:
Considering Wallace’s lack of productivity, one would think that Johnson and Wright should get more work. The pair certainly has better chemistry with Bridgewater. But benching a guy making $9.85 million for a guy making $510,000 (Johnson), or $1.5 million (Wright) might be a tough sell to the front office.
What won’t be a tough sell is cutting ties with Wallace long before he collects on those eye-popping paydays of $11.45 million he’s due each of the next two seasons.