The Indianapolis Colts elected to not re-sign Reggie Wayne following the 2014 NFL season, but the wide receiver is no longer a free agent after agreeing to a deal with the New England Patriots—a move about which the veteran had a simple reasoning.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Wayne said he wants to win.
Photo: Reggie Wayne says, "I want to win, point blank." pic.twitter.com/akQv73dRag
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 25, 2015
Joining future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions certainly fulfills that requirement.
Additionally, Wayne’s comments shouldn’t be taken as if he didn’t believe in the Colts. After all, Wayne’s former team is a favorite to reach the Super Bowl, but he’s longer a member of Indianapolis simply because the organization decided to move in another direction.
Andre Johnson—a teammate of Wayne’s at the University of Miami—second-year target Donte Moncrief and rookie Phillip Dorsett round out the Colts’ receiving corps led by T.Y. Hilton. Considering their roles, each of those players is a more dangerous asset for Andrew Luck and Co. than Wayne would’ve been.
Consequently, the 36-year-old was looking for a new football home and ultimately signed with the rival Patriots. But unless the Green Bay Packers came calling after Jordy Nelson sustained a season-ending ACL injury—and they did not—Wayne had few realistic options for Super Bowl-contending teams with a need at receiver.
Nevertheless, per Kevin Duffy of MassLive, Wayne is determined to prove doubters wrong. He said:
“… [I]f I didn’t think I had enough, I wouldn’t be here. One thing I don’t do is worry about what people have to say. If I didn’t play at all, if I decided to retire, they still would have something to say. … The only thing I can do is let my work speak for myself. I know what I can do, what I can bring to the table. … Whoever the naysayers are, watch me work.”
Whether or not Wayne appears in a preseason game is unclear, but he’ll challenge Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola for playing time as the No. 2 receiver behind Julian Edelman.
New England opens the 2015 season on Thursday, Sep. 10, against the Pittsburgh Steelers and squares off with the Colts, Wayne’s 14-year home, on Sunday, Oct. 18.