Dolphins’ newcomer Stills says he won’t to replace Wallace
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Mike Wallace experiment was a bust for the Miami Dolphins. They paid him more than $20 million over two years, and the return on that investment was an unhappy receiver who clashed with coaches and struggled to click with his quarterback during two 8-8 seasons.
So maybe it’s no surprise newcomer Kenny Stills dislikes being described as Wallace’s replacement.
“I don’t think I was brought in to replace anybody,” Stills said after arriving at the Dolphins complex Saturday. “Mike’s a great player, and I’ve looked up to things that he has done. I’m just here to help the team win in any way that I can.”
With a pair of trades Friday, the Dolphins acquired Stills from the Saints and sent Wallace to the Vikings. Stills is only 22 and wasn’t even part of New Orleans’ starting unit for most of last season, but he nonetheless made 63 receptions for 931 yards and three touchdowns.
“A talented, young, athletic, fast, consistent receiver,” Miami general manager Dennis Hickey said.
With that, Stills didn’t disagree.
“I would describe myself as a complete receiver,” he said, before adding, “I’m young, and I’m still working on my game.”
By swapping receivers, the Dolphins created much-needed cap space. Wallace is due to make $9.9 million this year, while Stills will get $585,000.
Stills said he was surprised to be traded but embraced the change, in part because he likes the Dolphins’ direction after a busy first week of free agency.
“It’s a really exciting time here, bringing in Jordan Cameron, Ndamukong Suh and myself,” he said. “Everything that has been going on around here, it’s really exciting for everyone. You can tell that they’re looking forward to winning a lot of games and trying to bring a championship here.”
Stills said his transition will be easier because he already knows several Miami players. He roomed with running back Damien Williams at Oklahoma, and is friendly with cornerback Jamar Taylor because they’re both from San Diego. He remembers quarterback Ryan Tannehill as receiver at Texas A&M when the Aggies played Stills’ Sooners.
And he’s glad to be teammates with receiver Jarvis Landry, a former Louisiana State player who got to know Stills in New Orleans before making a big splash as a Dolphins rookie last year.
“Jarvis and I actually pretty good friends,” Stills said. “I’m excited to team up with him and get out there and make some plays.”
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