On Sunday, the internet was rampant with speculation in regards to the fact that Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey recently had dinner with Mike Wallace.
This dinner did in fact take place on January 26 and I reported it on Twitter at that time. If you clicked on the link, you would see that they ate at Cappricios, an Italian restaurant about ten minutes from the Dolphins training facility. Hickey and Wallace were alone in a private room and there were no coaches present, which is ironic considering the fact that the issue is between Wallace and the coaching staff. The meal lasted around an hour. I can tell you that there is no issue with Hickey and Wallace.
On January 25, in the early morning hours, Branden Albert tweeted that he hopes Wallace stays in Miami. At the time, this seemed cryptic but it was in fact in regards to the dinner meeting between Wallace and Hickey. It appears that Wallace and Albert are good friends and they were obviously talking about the situation leading up the meeting.
The meeting was meant as a way for Wallace to vent his frustrations about the Dolphins offense. Hickey did not tell Wallace either way what the team's plans were for him. I am told that he expressed to Hickey that he wants to stay in Miami but wants a much bigger role in the offense.
However, this is where the problem comes into play. If you remember, the Dolphins tried to focus the offense around Wallace for the first several weeks of the season but it failed miserably. The coaching staff realized this after Week 3 and made the necessary adjustements. The Dolphins obviously are not going to go back to that kind of offense even if it what Wallace wants to happen.
Deep within the organization, the team would like to move on from Wallace. However, they understand that if they don't have an adequate replacement, they can't just simply get rid of him for the sake of it. That's why no decisions will be made until at least free agency or until the Dolphins have a wink-nod deal in place with a free agent wide receiver.
Who will they target? A big-bodied possession receiver. Bill Lazor's offense is not focused around the deep game but instead, a horizontal approach with lots of crossing routes. One name to consider is Michael Crabtree, who is on the Dolphins radar. Of course, dream names include Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant but they aren't expected to hit the open market. One surprise name that would break the mold of what they are looking for is Jeremy Maclin. While Maclin possesses the speed to go deep, he is also a solid route runner who has experience with Lazor when they were in Phiadelphia together.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether or not Wallace is back in a Dolphins uniform when the 2015 season begins. If the Dolphins can find a replacement who they believe will be a better fit in the offense, we'll be seeing him somewhere else. If they can't, he'll be back and will look to improve on one of the best years in his career.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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