MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the Miami Dolphins went looking for dynamic playmakers last offseason, they targeted the biggest one in free agency, wide receiver Mike Wallace. But with nearly half the season over, Wallace is looking like a bust in his first year in Miami.
Wallace landed a massive contract as a free agent. The Fins went all in signing Wallace to a 5-year, $60 million contract that contained an $11 million signing bonus and $27 million guaranteed. Wallace’s contract was structured so the biggest salary cap hit ($17 million) comes next season.
Through seven games, Wallace has caught 30 passes for 398 yards and just one touchdown on the season. His specialty, the deep ball, has seen him pull in a season long pass of 49 yards and he’s averaging 13.3 yards per reception.
Still, Wallace has been targeted 64 times this year by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and pulled down less than 50 percent of those passes. For comparison purposes, Wallace pulled down 60 percent of his targeted passes in 2010 and 64 percent in 2011, both seasons Wallace had more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Based on his 2013 cap hit of $3.25 million, the Dolphins have paid out a little less than $110,000 per catch this season. As Wallace catches more passes, the number will certainly drop.
Wallace’s targets in the last two games have averaged 10 per game and he’s pulling in just 4 of those passes per game. His season high of targets came against the Baltimore Ravens when the Fins targeted him 16 times and he caught seven passes, according to USAToday.com.
Based on his average targets thus far, the Fins are likely to target Wallace more than 110 times this season and he’s on track to catch around 60-65 passes in 2013. If those numbers prove true, the Fins will end up paying a little less than $55,000 per catch for Wallace’s services this season.
Wallace still has plenty of time to improve all of his receiving numbers, but between a bad offensive line, questionable play-calling, and a perceived lack of communication with his quarterback; Wallace still has to prove that he’s capable of being the player general manager Jeff Ireland thought he was earlier this year.