DAVIE — Mike Wallace has three years left on a $60 million, five-year contract, but his future with the Miami Dolphins is suddenly in doubt.
Coach Joe Philbin benched Wallace for the second half of Sunday’s season-ending loss to the New York Jets.
Following the game, Wallace acknowledged having an argument with the coaching staff. He backtracked Monday, saying he wasn’t upset about anything, and said he didn’t refuse to play.
Teammate Brandon Gibson said Wallace was frustrated after being targeted only once in the first half. The frustration has been building since last year, Gibson said.
When Wallace was asked if he was shocked, disappointed or angry about being benched, he said yes. But he said he still likes Philbin.
The $15 million receiver didn’t want to talk about his argument with coaches at halftime, or his benching that followed, or his team’s second-half collapse in a 37-24 loss to the woebegone New York Jets.
Wallace had Gibson speak for him, which created a bizarre scene as they stood side by
side at their lockers after the game.
Why was Gibson doing the talking?
“I just don’t want my dog to say anything wrong,” Gibson said. “Differences in opinion led to Mike not playing in the second half, so that’s what we’re going to say about coaches. … Things that were communicated probably were misunderstood.”
Idle for the entire second half, Wallace was held without a catch for the first time since his rookie year in 2009. That made things easier for the Jets, who overcame a 10-point third-quarter deficit.
The Dolphins (8-8) missed a shot at their first winning season since 2008, which is the last time they made the playoffs. Owner Stephen Ross has said coach Joe Philbin will be back for a fourth season in 2015, and he’ll have disharmony to address after benching Wallace.
Philbin said the move was a coach’s decision, and he declined to elaborate.
“I plan on being a Dolphin as far as my contract allows me,” Gibson said, speaking for Wallace. At the end of the interview, Wallace confirmed his feelings were
accurately represented by Gibson’s