The Vikings are releasing veteran wide receiver Mike Wallace, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). The team had reportedly hoped to keep Wallace in the fold by working out a pay cut for him, but it seems the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a reworked contract. The club has confirmed that the move is official.
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If Wallace was playing hardball in negotiations on his potential pay cut, it was likely an easy decision for the Vikings to release him. Because they initially acquired the ex-Dolphin in a trade, the Vikes were only on the hook for Wallace’s base salary and workout bonuses, and not any prorated bonus money. That means Minnesota clears the wideout’s entire $11.5MM cap hit from the team’s 2016 cap sheet by cutting him.
During his first and only season in Minnesota, Wallace matched or set career-lows by catching just 39 balls for 473 yards and two touchdowns. The 29-year-old becomes the latest in a long line of veteran wideouts to hit the open market, joining free agents like Marques Colston, Roddy White, and Greg Jennings. The Colts are expected to release Andre Johnson as well, once the new league year begins.
The Vikings also formally waived offensive tackle Austin Wentworth today. He announced his retirement last spring due to medical issues, but Minnesota continued to pay him for the 2015 season in a “class move,” tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.