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Dolphins’ Wallace: I was benched vs. Jets

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Despite reports that Mike Wallace took himself out of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets, the wide receiver and coach Joe Philbin maintained it was a coach’s decision for Wallace to sit out the second half of the season-ending 37-24 defeat.

Wallace was only targeted once in the first half, and reportedly told Philbin he did not want to play anymore after tight end Charles Clay scored a touchdown with 2:49 remaining in the second quarter. After the game, Wallace stood silently at his locker while teammates answered questions from the media for him.

Philbin maintained it was a coach’s decision for Wallace to sit out for the remainder of the game, but several Dolphins sources told the NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington that Wallace asked out and that teammates felt he “abandoned” them.

“He and I had a discussion. Then I made a coaching decision,” Philbin said of the interaction following Clay’s touchdown. “Really, that’s all there is to it.”

Philbin said the conversation was not acrimonious, that the two met again Monday and that his relationship with Wallace has “always been good.”

On Monday, Wallace said he was told by receivers coach Ken O’Keefe that he would not return to the game.

“I found out when I was going back on the field,” Wallace said Monday, per reports. “I was just told that I was done for the second half. Of course (I wanted to play).”

Wallace finished second on the team to rookie Jarvis Landry with 67 receptions, but led the Dolphins with 862 receiving yards and tied a career high with 10 touchdowns. His average yards per reception improved to 12.9 in 2014 from 12.7 during his first season in Miami, when he caught 73 passes for 930 yards and five touchdowns.

Wallace has three years remaining on the five-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2013. He is due $9.85 million in 2015 and $11.45 million in each of the final two years of his deal. Philbin gave no indication whether Sunday’s events will impact Wallace’s future with the Dolphins.

“Nothing has changed. I haven’t spent one second thinking about 2015 yet,” Philbin said. “We are taking a look at the film and watched the game film. I have meetings with every single player here the next day or so to get feedback, ways we can better, ways we can improve, things I can do better, things they can do better.

“I haven’t really thought about who is playing what position in 2015 or any of that stuff.”

Wallace is due to count $12.1 million against next year’s salary cap.

“I’m not a general manager or anything, or a head coach,” Wallace said of his future with the team. “So I’m not sure.”


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