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John Harbaugh Anticipates Mike Wallace Will Stay With Ravens


One of the more interesting upcoming decisions for the Ravens is whether to pay wide receiver Mike Wallace the big bucks scheduled on his contract for next season.

Wallace signed a two-year deal last offseason, but there is a club option for 2017 that must be exercised by the end of the 2016 league year in order for Wallace to remain on the roster. That deadline comes in eight days.

Wallace made a reported $1.25 million with a $3.5 million cap hit last year. In 2017, he would have a base salary of $4.75 million and cap hit of $8 million if the option is exercised, per Spotrac.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked Wednesday about Wallace's status, and he gave a hopeful response.

"Circumstances, contracts, salary caps, all that, are another conversation that you have about every single guy," Harbaugh said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "But my anticipation is that Mike Wallace will be a part of our team, and I know he's working to be a part of our team, and I'm planning on having him back next year."

Harbaugh wasn't asked about a potential new deal that could lower Wallace's cap hit next season and keep him in Baltimore for a longer period of time.

Wallace, 30, proved himself after a down season in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings, who released him last March. Wallace started all 16 games with the Ravens last season and posted 72 catches for a team-leading 1,017 yards and four touchdowns.

He brought his trademark speed and big-play ability, including a 66-yard touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, 70-yard catch and run against the New York Giants in Week 6 and 95-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9.

"Mike Wallace, to me, was a big, integral part of our team last year," Harbaugh said.

"Mike Wallace is a top-flight competitor. Mike Wallace is a guy that has a chip on his shoulder right there; that's what you love about him. The guy wants to compete, he wants to be great, and he works that way. So I want Mike Wallace on our football team."

If the Ravens parted ways with Wallace, they would be without their top two receivers from last year considering the retirement of Steve Smith Sr. Kamar Aiken is also a pending unrestricted free agent, and if he weren't re-signed, Breshad Perriman would be the only returning wide receiver with double-digit receptions last season.

But things can change quickly this time of year in the NFL. There are a lot of moving parts depending on who the Ravens can re-sign, who becomes available and more.

"We're bringing everybody back until we're not," Harbaugh said. "I think circumstances dictate that. So every one of those guys is in a little bit of a different position and has a different story."

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