Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey spoke to reporters on Wednesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and not surprisingly, a lot of the questions directed towards him had to do with the future of Mike Wallace. As you will recall, Wallace allegedly quit on his teammates in the season finale against the New York Jets because he wasn't getting any targets in the first half of the game. Following the game, he had fellow wide receiver Brandon Gibson speak for him in a locker room interview that was bizarre and one that hasn't been seen in recent memory.
Now, the Dolphins will be faced with a tough decision. Will they keep Wallace and try to work through his problems or will they cut the cord, take their losses and move on to try to replace him?
“We’re looking at all things with our players and evaluating, that’s part of our process," Hickey said. "I always talk about the process and we try to look at it as systematic approach with different sections of the season and just taking and looking and that’s what we’re doing now. I know the coaches have gone back and looked through cutups and different analysis, whether it be in the passing game, the running game, individual players, groups of players, you know all those things and that’s what we’re looking at and that will guide the decisions upcoming.”
Hickey noted that everyone was frustrated with the way the season went and ended, from owner Stephen Ross to the last player on the roster. He noted that the team finished 8-8 and that's how they are going to grade their season - mediocre.
When asked if Wallace fit the team's culture, Hickey wouldn't respond directly.
“We look at all those things with our players and again it was a disappointing finish. There’s no sugar coating that, but you have to look at the season in totality, players in totality. We see, we evaluate players on a daily basis, every practice, every meeting, all those things. We are constantly looking at players and that’s what goes into looking at players in totality as we make decisions.”
Wallace is due a roster bonus on March 1 so it's possible the team makes a decision before then. They can absorb the bonus and keep him on the roster longer to try to work out a trade once the league year begins on March 10. If the Dolphins release Wallace as a pre-June 1 cut, they will have $9.6 million in dead money and will save $2.5 million. If they designate him as a post-June 1 cut, they will have $5.2 million in dead money but will save $6.9 million. If they trade him, they will have $6.6 million in dead money and will save $5.5 million. Each team is allowed to designate two players as post-June 1 cuts so Wallace is certainly in play here if they can't find a trade partner.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs