The Colts resigned veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne yesterday in a move that shocked many people. Just days after releasing several key stars, the Colts signing of Wayne appeared to be a slight course reversal for a franchise intent on a massive rebuilding project.
Why would the Colts resign Wayne?
Here are five simple reasons.
1. They have to field a team in 2012. At some point, you have to have warm bodies on the field. After Pierre Garcon signed an insane contract with Washington, the Colts were left scrambling. They were going to have spend money on a free agent wide receiver. There's no way to fill out the roster just with the draft and undrafted players. If they have to sign someone, Wayne is in the category of guy they could afford.
2. The money was right. If the numbers are to be believed, Wayne signed a 3 year $17 million deal with $7 up front. That means he'll probably count $5 million against the 2012 cap. Even if he's cut at the end of the year, the hit will only be about $4.6 million next year. In other words, for about $5 million a year for two years, Colts get Wayne. It's hard to get a free agent of any quality for less.
3. Reward good behavior come contract time. Remember how the Colts never had a hold out for the past decade? That's because Marshall Faulk was dealt when he threatened one. Remember how Mathis and Wayne played nice and came to camp on time? When you are rebuilding a team, it pays to have vets in the locker room to tell the young guys to stay in line, shut up, and they'll get paid. Don't be surprised if resigning Mathis and Wayne pays off down the road. The locker room benefits of having Reggie Wayne around are innumerable. He actively wanted to play in Indy and rebuild the team. That counts for something.
4. Wayne still has great hands. He's just a possession receiver at this point, but he only dropped two passes last year. With a young QB, you want to give him someone he can trust to be in the right place and catch the ball. Wayne isn't an elite guy any more, but he does have some football value.
5. Throw the fans a bone. Hey, Reggie Wayne is connection to the past, and that's not a bad thing. Fans need someone to root for next year. You don't sign a guy to please fans, obviously. But if you are choosing among a similar group of wideouts, you might as well focus on someone the fans care about. For $5 million+ a year, the Colts weren't getting an elite guy. Getting an elite name in Colts history helps ease the sting of the past week.
So, while I've always loved Wayne, it's hard not to absolutely adore him when he says stuff like this:
“This is what I have, this is all I know. So I wouldn’t mind being part of a rebuilding process. They need some old heads too, you know? It would be an honor to still be part of this organization even with a rebuilding phase.”
Could we stick to the game plan? Why sign this guy, you can get two receivers for the money or draft one who is "younger", which is the idea to get younger. The colts are not winning next year, draft or sign young players, let them play and get needed experience playing football.
idea is not to get younger. It is to create cap space. You still need to put a team on the field so Wayne, on a cap friendly deal that you can afoord to get out of after one year if need be makes sense.
@horseshoe19 Dead on, Kasey. Make a crazy claim, back it up.
You name two receivers you can get for under $6 million per, and we'll talk.
@horseshoe19 Have you looked at the contracts free agent WR are getting this year? You simply cannot get 2 FA receivers anywhere near as good as Wayne for the money. Also, signing Wayne does not preclude drafting a WR. In fact, they almost have to, at least if they want to have any 3 WR sets.
@Nate Dunlevy Interesting. Especially since PK was speculating that if the Titans get Manning, that they would also go after Gonzo.
Looks like this will be the second Reginald Wayne to spend his entire career in Indy. (Reginald Wayne Miller). I'm happy!
6. Unlike the big names released Friday, Wayne has no significant history of injuries. They're paying for someone they can reasonably count on to take the field each week.
I like Carlson a lot but hope we resign Tamme and keep TE as a dynamic weapon. Carlson seems more like what we have in Eldridge.
Do I remember correctly that the offer Garcon turned down from Indy was 5 years at 7M per so The Skins offer is the same per year but one extra year? How does guaranteed money compare? Looks like Grigson was spot on with Garcon's value on the free market, right?
@19>18 Garcon got 42.5M for five years, for an average of 8.5M per year. But it is the Redskins, and they have a history of overpaying.
@19>18 Unconfirmed 22M in gauranteed money.
In addition to the money being *right* it was now *available* with Garcon taking his talents to Landover.
Smart money. Good locker room guy. Can help teach the new guys. All stuff I agree with completely. So glad to have #87 back.
"Hey Rookie, Throw left!"
Also, did anyone see what Meacham is reported to have got from San Diego? 4-year, 25.9 mil with 14 mil guaranteed. Makes Wayne's contract seem even more reasonable.
The intangible is that he's a really good (nice) guy. I don't want to lose that in this transition. I hope Irsay still has the feeling he conveyed to Dungy that he wants to "win the right way". Keep the thugs out.
Agree with all of the above. Also, Wayne is a smart player who knows what an elite quarterback expects of an elite receiver. He'll help with the locker room and with the transition of Luck to the NFL. I honestly thought Wayne wouldn't be worth it, but I expected him to sign for a lot more money. On this contract I'm really happy to have him back.
@rogcohen Reggie is a serious student of the game and he gives me the impression that he's a good teacher too. He'll be very valuable for bringing along Andrew Luck in the much the same mold as Peyton.
Geez, thank God I can cheer for a few familiar faces: Wayne, Angerer, McAfee, Vinatieri, Mathis, Collie...