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Wide Receiver Mike Wallace Uncertain About Future, But Hopes to Stay in Baltimore


Mike Wallace knows the business side of the NFL perhaps better than any other player in Baltimore's locker room.

The veteran receiver has played for four teams during his nine seasons in the NFL, and he's now set to become an unrestricted free agent again.

Wallace, 31, has led the Ravens in receiving yards in each of the last two seasons, but his future is unclear as the Ravens examine what changes they need to make to get themselves back into the playoffs.

"I'm a free agent, so it's a lot of things that go on in football. It's a business," Wallace said Monday after cleaning out his locker. "I don't expect anything. Do I hope [to return]? Yes. But expect nothing."

Wallace reportedly made $11.5 million during his two seasons in Baltimore, where he revived his career after a disappointing 2015 season in Minnesota. He topped 1,000 receiving yards during his first season in Baltimore and followed it up with 748 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2017.

"I love it here," Wallace said. "This team, these coaches, they just gave me love for the game back at a time when I was dark. If they'll have me, I'll definitely come back."

A decision on Wallace will likely depend on what the Ravens do with veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin. He struggled with injuries and production during his first season in Baltimore. He played in only 12 games and caught 40 passes for 440 yards and three scores.

Maclin is signed through next season, but would only carry a reported $2.5 million cap hit if the Ravens were to release him. If the Ravens wanted to keep Wallace, they could free up money  by releasing Maclin or make moves at other positions.

Outside of Wallace and Maclin, Baltimore's only receivers signed through next season are Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore. Quarterback Joe Flacco indicated that he hopes to have Wallace back next year.

"Mike, he's been a warrior for us for a couple of years now," Flacco said. "Just the attitude that he brings and the explosiveness that he brings out there – the amount of big plays he's had the last few years, he's second to none in the league. He does a lot for an offense like this. It would be huge to see him back."

Wallace will likely attract some interest on the open market. He still has rare speed that offenses covet, and his top priority is playing for a team that has a chance to win a Super Bowl. Wallace reached the championship game in his second NFL year as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they lost to the Green Bay Packers.

He's yet to make it back to the big game, and for a player with more than a reported $53 million in career earnings, he wants a chance at a Lombardi Trophy.

"I've made a lot of money," Wallace said. "You're not going to play for pennies, but at the same time, that's not the most important thing to me. I want to win.

"That's going to be my key – just put myself in the best situation I can to win a Super Bowl. Hopefully it's here."

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