Perhaps it's poetic justice. Santonio Holmes took himself out of the game in the fourth quarter when he was with the New York Jets in 2012. Two years later, his Pittsburgh replacement, Mike Wallace, walked off the field as a member of the Dolphins in the fourth quarter against the Jets.
What does that mean?
The Steelers were smart to part ways with both of them.
The future of Wallace in Miami appears uncertain at best, as Miami looks to find a way to add some production to a dismal offense. The decision to bring in Wallace was well-known by the time it was obvious he was on his way out in Pittsburgh. Despite no recorded evidence of tampering, Wallace managed to sign his free agent deal with the Dolphins just hours into free agency in 2013, and he's been effectively robbing the Dolphins blind ever since.
Skepticism of how and when the deal was actually done swirled around Wallace as he arrived in Miami, lacing a boom-or-bust theme around a player who used to be the best vertical target in the league (some might even brag about calling almost to the dollar his exact contract). His alleged complaints behind the scenes regarding opportunities come just two years into a five-year, $60 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. He has 1,792 yards combined since joining the Dolphins and is averaging 70 catches a season. Those figures are both less than Antonio Brown's cumulative total of his last 18 games. And rookie fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant put up comparable numbers (26 catches, 549 yards, eight touchdowns) as Wallace did his rookie season with the Steelers (39 catches, 756 yards, six touchdowns).
By releasing Wallace before he's owed $9.8 million in roster salary next year, the Dolphins would take on $9.6 million in dead money. That's a hefty sum for a player who appears to be only be worth about 30 percent of what he's already been paid. The whole thing reeks of a Patriots-fueled career revival for Wallace, but for now, Steelers fans can remember him as the player who gave the team the most when he was playing for the least amount of money in his career.