With the New England Patriots releasing Reggie Wayne before the beginning of the season, the veteran wide receiver is likely to retire from the NFL, although he might get a chance to do it with the Indianapolis Colts, who’ll sign him only to have him retire with them a day later.
Wayne played 14 seasons for the Colts before being released prior to the 2015 season. He signed a contract worth up to $2.8 million with the Patriots that included over $400,000 in guaranteed money. But when time came for the final cuts, the Patriots decided they didn’t see enough from the six-time Pro Bowler to keep him as part of the final 53. Bill Belichick complimented Wayne for his professionalism, but Wayne wanted to be part of a championship team one more time, not pick up some pats on the back from another head coach.
The Patriots will go on looking for a big-body receiver to help Tom Brady out, now knowing he’s going to play in week 1. Wayne? Two months from his 37th birthday, he’s probably come to a realization that it’s not just no more playing on championship teams for him; it’s no more NFL for him.
The Colts didn’t want him at the beginning of the preseason and they knew why. Now they’re probably going to do the usual retirement-signing for Wayne, who’ll end up playing for just one franchise his entire NFL career and also retiring with it to show for his Super Bowl ring, 14,345 receiving yards and 82 career touchdowns.