Mike Wallace didn’t grumble about his role or his quarterback during his underwhelming 2015 season with the Vikings. But now that Wallace has a new team, the Ravens, the wide receiver is voicing his displeasure.
Wallace was introduced to Baltimore media Tuesday afternoon after signing a two-year, $11.5 million deal with the Ravens. And while talking about his excitement to be playing with strong-armed, possibly elite QB Joe Flacco, Wallace did not have favorable things to say about Teddy Bridgewater.
“When this process started, I knew that I wasn’t going back to Minnesota,” he said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback.’ ...I need a quarterback who I know is proven and can get things done.”
Wallace said that he was jealous of all the deep chances that speedster Torrey Smith, who is now with the 49ers, used to get with the Ravens.
“This is going to be fun,” Wallace said of catching passes from Flacco.
In his only season in Minnesota, Wallace set career lows with 39 receptions, 473 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His 12.1 yards-per-reception average was a career low, too, and his longest gain was 34 yards.
Wallace dropped some balls, but Bridgewater also missed him on a few deep shots, including a sure touchdown in the Nov. 1 win over the Bears.
Bridgewater completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards and 14 TDs. He had a 88.7 passer rating and made the Pro Bowl as an injury fill-in.
While Wallace was critical of the Dolphins offense during his two rocky years in Miami, which he opened up about after arriving in Minnesota, he did not publicly criticize Bridgewater or the Vikings during the 2015 season.
Coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman raved about Wallace’s leadership after the season. Zimmer even made a point to mention that Wallace never complained about his role in the offense. But the Vikings, unwilling to pay him $11.5 million in 2016, cut him last Tuesday.
Wallace is now “happy” to be in a “great environment” in Baltimore.
“Felt right from the moment that I walked in the building,” he said today.