Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey had dinner with disgruntled wide receiver Mike Wallace earlier this month. And while Hickey said the two had a "good conversation," there were no assurances Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine that Wallace, who was benched for the second half of the season finale against the New York Jets, will be back with the team next season.
"Through our process we're looking at each individual situation with all of our players," Hickey said. "In the salary-cap era, you have challenging decisions you have to make each year. We're going through that process ... We're still working on it. We judge each player, each decision on an individual basis. The goal is to make the best decision for the Miami Dolphins."
Wallace, who had 67 receptions for 862 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, will count $12.1 million against the cap if he's on the team next season. Most of his frustration is because quarterback Ryan Tannehill can't accurately throw the deep ball, which is Wallace's distinguishing characteristic.
Tannehill frequently missed Wallace on deep passes with throws that were too long, too short, or wide left or right.
Hickey, who rarely provides straight answers to questions, was evasive and vague when asked whether he'd demand Wallace and Tannehill work out their differences during the offseason. But he seemed to say it's necessary the two offensive stars get along.
"It's a team, right?" Hickey said. "We have to work together. That's what we're about, is team. We win as a team, we lose as a team."
Hickey hinted he understood the source of Wallace's frustration.
"For all of us, as the season unfolded, late in the year, we were all frustrated about how the season ended," he said. "That's what we're focused on now, addressing, confronting the reality of where we're at, and how do we get to where we want to be.
"That's what we spent the last five or six weeks looking at hard, and talking through and working together in a collaborative fashion, to work through that. The goal is to be better."