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Getting All Riled Up

Apparently some people are up in arms about Reggie Wayne’s newest comments.  Wayne had two sets of comments.  The first was to WISH TV.  In the interview, he playfully avoided committing to attending training camp.  Then later he talked to Phil B.

That doesn’t mean he won’t play this season — even if he doesn’t get a new contract.

“I play football. That’s what I do,” he said. “I love the game. It goes deeper than contract talks; I like doing this. I ain’t getting any younger and football is my passion.”

So are splashy entrances.

In 2006, Wayne reported to training camp wearing former Colts teammate Edgerrin James’ Arizona Cardinals jersey. In 2007, he wore military camouflage and last year he showed up in a dump truck, hardhat on his head, lunchbox in hand and announced the Colts were “under construction for the Super Bowl.”

“I’ve always got something planned,” Wayne said. “Hopefully everything falls into place and I end up at Anderson on time.”

I’m not sure why anyone would be upset about any of these comments.  Let’s get some facts straight:

  • If Wayne holds out, he gets another year tacked onto the contract he doesn’t like.
  • Wayne’s tone has been respectful and without anger all the way through.
  • Wayne has never said he’s missing training camp without a contract.
  • He sounds like he’s planning on being in camp.
  • If he comes out and says now he’ll 100% be there, he loses what (precious little) leverage he has.

Everything he’s doing is completely normal and reasonable in today’s NFL.  He’s not being disruptive nor does he sound like a malcontent.  He’s engaging in a fair, reasonable contract renegotiation.

I don’t think Reggie Wayne deserves a new contract.  I don’t think he’s going to get one.  I do not blame him at all for trying.  I don’t have any criticism for him as a person or a player because of it.  I think he’s behaving in a solid manner.  He has the right to do and say the things he’s doing and saying and none of them will hurt the team in the least.

Now, if Reggie misses camp (which he won’t), then yes, that’s a problem.  However, these comments are so mild that they can’t rightly even be considered threats.

Reggie Wayne is a good guy.  He is a team leader.  He is one of the best players in Colts history.  He has done and said NOTHING to damage that legacy.  My opinion of him as a player and person is unaltered by this situation. It’s normal NFL contract business, and nothing to get worked up about.