This off-season the Indianapolis Colts made a huge turnaround in their franchise by either releasing or choosing to not re-sign a large number of veterans who made huge contributions during their long success stretch of the 2000’s. Among the losses were: QB Peyton Manning, QB Dan Orlovsky, RB Joseph Addai, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Dallas Clark, TE Jacob Tamme, G Ryan Diem, C Jeff Saturday, C/G Mike Pollak, DE Tyler Brayton, DE Jamaal Anderson, DT Eric Foster, OLB Philip Wheeler, OLB Ernie Sims, ILB Gary Brackett, CB Jacob Lacey and Safety Melvin Bullitt.
One player who they chose to try hard to re-sign is veteran Pro-Bowl WR Reggie Wayne who at age 33 had to answer questions about how much he has left in his tank. Entering the 2011 season Wayne recorded 7 straight 1,000 yards receiving seasons but after a very unstable QB situation for the Colts last season Wayne ended up just 40 yards short of making it 8 straight, he finished with 75 catches for 960 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Entering this off-season Reggie Wayne unexpectedly received little interest in free-agency, despite his stellar career. His age and the declined numbers from 2011 kept many teams away.
The New England Patriots weren’t one of those teams however, the Patriots who have faced Wayne many times over the course of his 12-year career expressed serious interest according to a source and were willing to pay him more than what the Colts were offering him. The Patriots were in the process of working a deal with former St. Louis Rams WR Brandon Lloyd at the time [who signed with the Pats to three-year, $12 million contract] but the team wanted to add Wayne regardless to bolster the offense.
In the end Wayne simply had tough time saying goodbye to his home in Indianapolis and chose to re-sign with the Colts for a three-year, $17.5 million contract that included a $7.5 million signing bonus.
Entering week 6 of this season, Wayne leads the NFL in receiving yards despite only playing 4 games due to an early bye week and was named week 5 offensive player of the week for his efforts against the Green Bay Packers where he caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown.