Vikings' Mike Zimmer Expects Mike Wallace To Fit Well With Ravens


Mike Wallace's one season in Minnesota didn't go according to plan, but the receiver's former head coach still has nothing but good things to say about him.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer praised the veteran speedster, and expects him to be a good fit with his new team in Baltimore.

"I loved him. I thought he was a great kid," Zimmer said at last week's owners meetings. "I think John Harbaugh and the guys over there are really going to like him as a person, as a competitor."

The Ravens signed Wallace to a two-year deal reportedly worth $11.5 million earlier this month.

Wallace hit the market when the Vikings cut him March 8 after a disappointing 2015 campaign. He caught 39 passes for 473 yards and two touchdowns, which was the worst season of his seven-year career. Cutting Wallace allowed the Vikings to clear about $11.5 million in salary cap space.

"It was more about money than anything else," Zimmer said.

Wallace struggled in Minnesota's system, and the Vikings couldn't find a way to maximize the big-play potential he showed with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in his career. Wallace went through a five-game stretch in which he caught just two passes for 26 yards.

Despite those issues, Zimmer never saw Wallace get disinterested or slack off.

"Every day he comes to practice and works," Zimmer said. "Even when he's frustrated, he doesn't really say he's frustrated."

Wallace has acknowledged that last season was frustrating, but neither side has voiced any ill will toward the other.

"Mike is a terrific kid," Zimmer said. "He's a great competitor. He's a good leader."

The focus for Wallace now is rebounding from last year's disappointment.

Part of his attraction in coming to Baltimore was teaming up with quarterback Joe Flacco, and his ability as a deep threat is exactly what the Ravens need. Wallace said at his introductory press conference that he plans to "get the last laugh," and the Ravens have also expressed optimism that he can get back to the kind of numbers he put up as a Pro Bowler with the Steelers.

"It's going to be a great opportunity just to revive and get back to where I want to be at and the type of player I know I can be," Wallace said. "I feel like I can maximize my potential here."

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