Earlier this week, the Baltimore Ravens signed Mike Wallace to a two-year, $11.5 million contract, which included $4.5 million guaranteed.
Speaking about how he was happy that he would be connecting with Joe Flacco at the AFC North team, he inadvertently took a shot at his former quarterback from the Minnesota Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater.
Saying at his opening press conference with the Ravens, according to USA Today: "When this process started, I knew that I wasn't going back to Minnesota. I was like, 'I need a good quarterback. I need a quarterback who I know is proven and can get things done."
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His comments from the press conference were in the headlines the next day for slandering Bridgewater and blaming him for these poor numbers. By saying he didn't want to return to Minnesota because he wanted a good quarterback, he was implying that Bridgewater isn't good in the position.
However, Wallace has come out and defended his comments, as he believes they have been misinterpreted.
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"I loved my coaches and teammates in Minnesota. I would never say anything negative about Teddy -- that's my guy beyond football," Wallace told USA Today via text message. "I already talked to Teddy. We are A1."
"I love Teddy like a brother and I will still hang out with him," Wallace said. "Just because we (are) not on the same team doesn't mean the love isn't there. It's bigger than the game of football.
"He's a great young QB. I said that the whole time I was there. The way he handled (himself) on the field -- I have much respect for him and I know as the time goes on, they will unleash him and he will show why he was in the discussion to be the No. 1 pick.
“The reason I picked Baltimore is because I think they give me the best chance to get back making the plays that I want to.”
Vikings teammates and coaches have praised Bridgewater for his progress over his first two seasons in the NFL, as he has completed 64.9% of his passes for 6,150 yards, with 28 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and an 87.0 passer rating. His third year will truly show if he can be the franchise quarterback in Minnesota.
Wallace only caught 39 passes for 473 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings in 2015, his worst 16-game season across his seven-year career so far. Now entering his eighth season, he hopes to improve these statistics and become the deep threat that he once was during his earlier playing days at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
You never know, maybe both players will have great seasons in 2016, and that the poor numbers from 2015 simply came about because Bridgewater was still progressing.
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