In the coming days, the Dolphins’ No. 1 offseason mystery — what will they do with Mike Wallace? — should be revealed.
It certainly can’t hurt Wallace’s chances that his quarterback wants him back.
Ryan Tannehill said Tuesday that he and his occasionally temperamental wide receiver have “cleared the air” since Wallace’s late-season blowup, and that “there’s no problem there.”
“I like Mike,” said Tannehill, after participating in an all-star field day at Trump National in Doral. “I’ve spoken to him, yes. It was great.”
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Wallace’s future with the team has been uncertain since the last game of the 2014 season, when he was benched for the second half after complaining about how he had been used. The Miami Herald reported at the time that Wallace refused to re-enter the game, but he denied that the following day.
Regardless of the circumstances, Wallace’s actions — not to mention his nearly $10 million salary in 2015 — have put him in limbo. Owner Stephen Ross said in January that “I don’t think anybody really knows” if Wallace will return for a third season with the team, and that still might be the case.
Depending on which big-ticket free agents the Dolphins chase next week — a list that potentially includes Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — Miami might need the cap space his release would create.
Tannehill, in a frank exchange with reporters, said the team’s front office has discussed certain aspects of its plans before enacting them but added that he did not know what will ultimately happen with Wallace.
Tannehill has already lost two veteran wide receivers when the team cut Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson last week. If the Dolphins part ways with Wallace, they would have just one wide receiver back — Jarvis Landry — who caught more than 12 passes last season.
“I just work on what I can do,” Tannehill said, when asked about the team’s purge. “I think the front office is doing a good job of evaluating the team and trying to put the best team on the field.”
Tannehill is technically in a contract year, although the franchise is expected to pick up his fifth year option in the coming months — a mini-extension that would pay him $16.2 million in 2016.
But a long-term deal in the next 12 months would give Tannehill the security of guaranteed money up front and the Dolphins more salary-cap flexibility.
Tannehilll said his agent and the Dolphins have not started talks on a new contract, and he doesn’t know that will even happen this year.
“They’ve been supportive of who I am as a player and the leader I am, so I’m excited about what the future holds,” Tannehill said.