Who said all athletes are just out there for the money? Apparently, the Miami Dolphins’ big-splash free agent signing of the offseason, Mike Wallace, took far less cash to play in the Sunshine State than with the Minnesota Vikings.
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) June 13, 2013
Granted, $60 million is nothing to sneeze at. The former Pittsburgh wide receiver was going to be set for life either way (as would his children and grandchildren, for that matter).
However, $16 million is no small chunk of change. When the news first broke that Wallace was leaving the only team he had ever played for in the Steelers, obviously Pittsburgh fans were going to believe that the speedy former Ole Miss star took the money and ran.
The 6-foot, 199-pounder must have a lot more confidence in young quarterback Ryan Tannehill then the Vikings’ Christian Ponder. Further, second-year Miami coach Joe Philbin was one of the main architects of the record-breaking Green Bay Packers offenses we have seen in recent years. His aerial attack could prove to be far more beneficial to his career statistics than the run-first Vikings offense featuring Adrian Peterson.
After Wallace chose to sign with Miami, the Vikings got extremely proactive in acquiring talent at the position. First, Minnesota signed former Philbin disciple in Green Bay’s Greg Jennings to a five-year, $47.5 million deal — far less than the $76 mil reportedly offered to Wallace. After that, the franchise traded their second- (No. 52), third- (No. 83), fourth- (No. 120), and seventh- round (No. 229) draft picks to New England, moving into the first round in order to select Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson. Finally, the Vikings have decided to move backup quarterback Joe Webb to wideout as well.
So there you go: How a difference of $16 million changed the lives of four NFL players and two franchises.