Well, the first free agent acquisition of the 2012 league year has arrived, and it's a familiar, yet unexpected face:
Reggie Wayne re-signing a three-year deal with Colts. Agreement reached.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012
Most people thought Wayne would be gone once free agency hit, perhaps to follow Peyton Manning to his eventual destination. But, less than six hours after his contract expired, Reggie was once again a Colt.
Here are the specifics of the deal, per PFT:
Per league source, WR Reggie Wayne gets three-year, $17.5 million deal to stay in Indy.$7.5 million guaranteed, not sure if "fully."— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 14, 2012
With the glaring hole at wide receiver, Wayne brings a dependable, veteran target for soon-to-be rookie QB Andrew Luck. With Austin Collie and Wayne as the top two targets, the Colts will almost certainly add another player via the draft or free agency, but Colts fans should take comfort in the fact that Luck will be throwing to two receivers who were top 15 in the league in drop rate last season.
The Colts still lack a vertical threat, however, and will need to replace Pierre Garcon, who signed a large (read: excessive) contract with the Washington Redskins.
Personally, I, and CA's Joe Baker, think that paying Wayne less than six million dollars a year for the next three years is a better deal than paying Garcon over eight million. While the deal is a little much for Wayne's diminishing athleticism, his leadership in the locker room, especially for Luck, should make it worth it.
I, for one, am glad to have him back.
Considering the terms of the deal, I think this is a very good signing. Gives veteran leadership and someone who can help Luck develop. It's hard to gain confidence if you have no one to throw the ball to, and I don't think Collie/White is good enough to fight through double or triple coverage haha. I'm incredibly glad there'll be a familiar face on offense, though.
Congratulations goes to Garcon for scoring such a great contract. I wish him the best.
Considering the deal Garcon got in DC, this deal looks great by comparison. Great guy, who have done everything the Colts have asked him to do. Good for Wayne and good for the Colts.
By the by, @Kyle Rodriguez , you might want to alter this part: "but Colts fans should take comfort in the fact that Luck will be throwing to two receivers who were top 15 in the league in drop rate last season.", to something that makes it a bit clearer, that Collie and Wayne are some of the most sure-handed guys out there. I read it as Collie and Wayne were top 15 in drops last year. Regards Christian.
While I'm glad to have Reggie back for sentimental reasons, I don't think it makes much sense. Makes me even less confident that there's a plan.
@gizzardfanny I think the plan is clear: 3 years isn't long-term, core-type stuff. He's a good receiver who gives the Colts a legitimate weapon for Luck, someone who can help steady both a rookie QB and what will undoubtedly be a young WR/TE group, and gives them an extra draft or two to find that really stud WR.
Reggie may be more valuable in training camp and the locker room than on the field. He seems to be having more and more difficulty gaining separation. That "lost step" perhaps. Maybe the group of poor QBs last year exaggerated the apparent problem. Net, I have mixed feelings about the resigning. I do wish the term were shorter for sure.
Re-G-Money!!!!! Glad.....even if we overpaid ever so slightly, the guy is class and will play with his ALL which is more than I can say for some of the other free agent WRs. Of course, he's gotten up there in years but he's a GREAT mentor (leadership and CRISP route running), he maintains a desire to win, he is a guy who epitomizes the Colts culture of 'getting the job done with understated swagger and none of the useless showmanship'. It's a good singing and fingers X'd that he delivers for Luck like he did for 18!!!!
This is HUGE. Having a strong veteran presence is going to be key in this transition; wayne is a leader on offense that can keep the locker room going.
And I for one am not ready to put his career to bed just yet. He may have 'lost a step", but his role has always been as a sure-handed route-runner with a great release, and he's still got those tools.
@danorocks17 Yes, this.
Like I said (in fewer words) on Twitter: You can love a Corvette. You know it can keep up with at least some of the best European exotics. Given the chance, you'd enjoy the hell out of driving one. You wouldn't mind owning one at all. But you sure as hell wouldn't pay a Ferrari price for a 'Vette.
Pierre Garçon, bless him, is a 'Vette. He's one hell of a player, and Washington fans will enjoy the heck outta him. But that doesn't change the fact that Snyder paid a Ferrari price for him.
@gbearrin other needs more necessary, and we still have to worry about the cap situation...focus on D this year
@mattshedd There is NOTHING more important that protecting Luck this year. We aren't competing, and its probably going to be a couple of offseasons before the defense is built.
@gbearrin This. Reports were that Evan Mathis was being sought after by the Colts. That would be awesome.
@Kyle Rodriguez If the colts re-sign Evan mathis, I will begin to believe that Grigson has a microphone in my house. If we go after Kendall Langford or Luis Castillo at some point, I will sweep my house for bugs.
Freakin' A! Good to have another member from the old guard helping serving as a link between the eras. Can only be a good thing for Luck's development.
This is good for the team. Luck should benefit tremendously. Better him than Garçon. Nice to have one of our own back.