Colts will not Re-sign Future Hall of Fame WR Reggie Wayne
Did the Colts Give Reggie Wayne an Ultimatum?
Today the Indianapolis Colts front office came to the conclusion that not re-signing Pro Bowler and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Reggie Wayne was the best option for the team, and Reggie. We all saw the coming inevitablity that Wayne’s role within the wide receiving core for the Colts was going to diminish. With the emergence of the young explosive rookie Dante Moncrief last year, and the signing of Duron Carter this off season. Not to mention lots of talk around the Colts camp of wanting to sign another “number one” type caliber in Free Agency. Reggie was looking, at best, at being penciled in at the third spot in the rotation behind (insert Free Agent here), and up and coming superstar T.Y. Hilton.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said this today about the decision. “When he first took the field with us in 2001, we knew this day would eventually arrive. That reality is one of the things that makes pro football such a tough business. We feel this decision is in the best interests of the team and for Reggie as it will allow him to seek a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere if he so chooses,”
I agree with every word in that quote, but Jim, who in Colts Nation wants to see that? We’ve already dealt with the parting ways of Peyton Manning. While that is a bit of a different situation, I understand they where gearing up for the arrival of Andrew Luck, and had enough confidence in Luck that he could come in and play right away. Yet what ever happened to long term players, GREAT players, of a team staying with that team their whole careers and one day retiring with them as well? Instead now we get this, player goes to another team, it looks weird seeing them in another uniform and we hate it for awhile. Then you somewhat forget that they even had a long career and relationship with the team before. After that, player decides, now I’m ready to retire, and first team signs them and holds a presser acknowledging the accolades, saying “he’s a colt forever, a horseshoe guy”. No he’s a horseshoe, dolphin, bronco, seahawk, guy because you couldn’t re-sign him to a short cheap cap friendly contract and keep him here where he always wanted to be.
Everyone will be civil of course, saying we both wanted this, it was a mutual agreement, and that’s fine. I have a hard time believing though that Reggie is ready to retire. I imagine that he would have already came out and said so if he did, and with the lack luster, injury ridden season a year ago:
Reggie Wayne 2014 Stats
779 Yards Receiving
No one wants to go out like that. Especially not the Colts Cal Ripkin Jr. Holding their franchise record in regular season games played and wins. The guy who ranks second in receptions (1,070), receiving yards (14,345), receiving touchdowns (80), 100-yard games (43) and consecutive games with a reception (134). While being seventh all-time in NFL history on the career receptions list, and eighth in receiving yards. Reggie Wayne is a man amoung boys on the football field, and there’s no way in hell he wanted to go out with everyone calling him old, slow, and a diminishing talent as “they” where in 2014.
Which brings me to wonder.. Did Jim Irsay and Ryan Grigson go to Reggie Wayne and give him the tough love speech? Telling him they where not going to re-sign him, and that it’s his choice to either retire, or get put out on the market and finish his career somewhere else.
I understand the business side of it. I really do, I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around why they wouldn’t want to keep their “horseshoe guy” at least for another year. With again the crop of young emerging stars the Colts will have on the roster next year. If not even for reliable hands on the field, why not keep the veteran Wayne around to teach these kids the game, and mentor them on how to be a Pro for one more year.
That’s not what we are going to get though, we are all going to have to deal with seeing another life long Colt and the number 87 in another teams, fans, uniform..
Maybe I’m being to soft in speaking about such a cut throat, cynical business. Which is what the National Football League is, and the move or non move, probably was the best decision for both parties. I guess I’m just a sucker for loyalty and taking care of your own. That’s probably why I’m writing in this blog instead of the one owning a pro football team…