When training camp rolls around this summer, it will be very strange not seeing Reggie Wayne running routes in the blue and white, and it will be even more weird when the season rolls around and there's nobody for the fans to chant "Reggie!" for. If it's up to Wayne, however, he'll be playing somewhere in 2015.
"Just not done, yet," Wayne told RTV6's Mike Chappell on Thursday. He did say, however, that the situation "will have to make sense to me. No doubt in my mind I've got a minimum of one, maybe two years left in me. I ain't done, yet."
These are the first comments we've heard from Wayne (outside of a statement thanking Colts fans) since the team made the hard decision to move on from one of the greatest players in franchise history. It's clear that Reggie wanted to play another year, and in fact his comments on that matter were revealing. He told Chappell that he pled his case to owner Jim Irsay to allow him to return for one more year and then retire, and he even told Irsay that he would be fine being released in training camp if the Colts weren't happy with his performance. Reggie really wanted to be back, but Irsay informed Wayne that the decision had been made and that the Colts were moving on.
"Was I disappointed? Yeah," Wayne told Chappell. "But did it surprise me? I'm never surprised in this league. When they get rid of Peyton Manning, you know you ain't nothing. When you see them get rid of Marvin Harrison, who am I? They got rid of Edgerrin James.
"But yeah, I was disappointed. Who isn't disappointed when they're told their credit card has been declined when they know they've got money in the bank. That was me. I knew I still could play, but I had been declined."
With that said, Wayne added that he has "zero bad" to say about the Colts and he harbors no "ill will" toward the franchise despite the departure, instead recognizing that he had a great 14-year run with the franchise - even though it won't be the perfect ending that many hoped for.
It's neve easy to move on from a legendary player, and Wayne certainly is that for the Colts. He played in a franchise-record 211 games with the Colts and and was part of more wins than any other Colt (143). He finished his Colts career with 1,070 receptions, 14,345 receiving yards, 80 receiving touchdowns, and 43 100-yard games. He ranks seventh all-time in NFL history in receiving yards and eighth all-time in receptions in NFL history, also ranking as arguably the second-greatest playoff receiver ever behind only Jerry Rice. In fourteen years with the Colts, Wayne made six Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2010. He was incredibly productive over his career, but as injuries mounted over the past two seasons, that productivity decreased. It turns out, however, that perhaps the injury situation was worse than many realized.
Wayne revealed that, in addition to undergoing surgery to repair his torn triceps suffered in week seven of the 2014 season, he also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason to help clean up his knee, and he said that he had injured his MCL in the season-opener against the Broncos. Wayne acknowledged to Chappell that he probably should have gone to injured reserve after the triceps injury, but he wanted to be out there and try to help the team.
The bottom line is that Wayne is still adjusting to life without the Colts, but he's not quite ready to move on from football. Reports over the past few months have indicated that Wayne wants to play in 2015, and now the receiver has said so himself. He said that he's received "damned good" interest from other teams, but he's currently just contemplating his next move. But while it won't be with the Colts as he would have liked, it sounds like we might be seeing Reggie Wayne playing NFL football this fall anyway.