| Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings
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|Draft: 2009 Round 3 (20)
DOB: 1986-08-01 Age: 28
|Wallace’s status entering 2012 appears uncertain as the Steelers 4th year wide receiver has thus far refused to sign his restricted free agent tender which would pay him $2.7-million for the upcoming season. With reports indicating that Wallace and his agent have instead asked the team for a long term contract averaging $14-16-million, the gulf between the parties is clearly huge. Wallace is coming off a solid 2011 campaign where he finished the year with 72 receptions (a career-high), for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns. While those are solid numbers, he faded down the stretch and averaged a career-low 16.6 yards per reception. Over the final seven games of the season, he caught just 25 of 50 targets for 325 yards and a pair of scores. Despite that late season swoon, Wallace remains perhaps the most feared big play receiver in the game outside of Calvin Johnson and should be considered a mid-tier WR1 on draft day.
|Mike Wallace vows to be "better" in Minnesota -- Tue Jul 28 2:48 pm --|
Veteran WR making adjustments on and off the field
|Mike Wallace spent two controversial years with the Miami Dolphins, becoming the center of attention for what he often said, and often didn't say.
After signing a five-year, $60 million contract as a free agent in 2013, the wide receiver had a brief, turbulent Miami tenure that ended with him on the bench for the second half of last December's regular-season finale against the New York Jets.
In March, he was traded to the Vikings, who hope a change of scenery will lead to him being the player he was when starring for Pittsburgh from 2009-12.
Four months after the deal, Wallace says he has a better idea of what went wrong in Miami, where his production slipped significantly. On Day 2 of training camp Monday at Minnesota State Mankato, he said he's determined to turn it around in Minnesota.
"(I'm trying) my best to be a leader this year and do a much better job in that department than I have been before," Wallace said. "(I've got) to be a better person and a better player and lead more.
"You take experiences that you have in your life and just learn from them. Some are good and some are bad, but you have to build from it. I know some mistakes I made in Miami. I know some good things. So I try to leave the bad and take the good."
Wallace got a lot more publicity for the alleged bad things.
After he caught just one pass for 15 yards in his first game with the Dolphins, he was criticized for refusing to talk to reporters, even though Miami had beaten Cleveland 23-10.
Last season, after the Dolphins defeated Jacksonville 27-13, Wallace got heat for criticizing Miami's offense after a game his team won because of two defensive touchdowns.
And after what turned out to be Wallace's final game with the Dolphins, reports surfaced that he had declined to play in the second half of a 37-24 loss to the Jets. He claims he was benched by coach Joe Philbin.
Nevertheless, Wallace's behavior after the game was bizarre. He stood next to then-Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who answered all the questions directed at Wallace.
"You get frustrated at times when things are not going your way. You're not winning, you're not doing the things you expect out of yourself, you're not meeting your goals, and you get frustrated," Wallace said. "And I have to do a better job of holding that frustration in sometimes. I work hard. If I'm not getting results, I want to get frustrated, but I have to do a better job of not showing it." (St. Paul Pioneer Press)|
FF Today's Take: Wallace is a talented receiver several years removed from his fantasy peak (2010 in Pittsburgh). With his controversial time in Miami over, he'll look to reestablish himself as a viable fantasy WR2 for the Vikings.
|Charles Johnson "picking up where he left off" -- Wed Jun 24 2:51 pm --|
Expected to have a big role in offense
|Charles Johnson seemed to have gained some stability for the first time in career last year.
The wide receiver emerged as the Vikings No. 1 target last year in his second season, though he didn’t even start the season with the team. “CJ has picked up where he left off in December and he’s having a good spring,” Turner said. Johnson won’t technically be labeled as the No. 1 receiver with the Vikings trading for Mike Wallace from the Dolphins, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Johnson's fantasy value took a hit with the signing of Mike Wallace but both should be in the starting lineup come Week 1. Both also have WR2 upside in 2015 with Johnson a slight favorite in PPR leagues, playing the "X" position in Norv Turner's offense.
|Zimmer pleased with WR Patterson's offseason -- Mon May 18 4:00 pm --|
HC praised third-year wideout's shape and attention to detail
|“(Cordarrelle Patterson) is doing a good job in this offseason. He has been in better shape coming in, and he is doing a better job of running routes, of competing each and every down. I look forward to him coming on and I’m a big fan of his. We’re just trying to get him to realize all the little intricacies you have to do offensively in the NFL in order to be a great player.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Coming off a highly-disappointing season in 2014, Patterson has been generating a lot of early buzz. He'll need to continue drawing similar praise from HC Mike Zimmer and OC Norv Turner in order to have any shot at earning back a starting job since Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace appear entrenched at the moment. Barring a lights-out training camp or an injury to Johnson or Wallace, Patterson appears destined to be a third receiver in Minnesota in 2015.
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