Reggie Wayne was a free agent last season after not being signed back to play for the Indianapolis Colts. Many wondered if he would ever play again. And despite flirting with playing again last season, he never made it back onto the playing field. After missing all of last season, Wayne has finally made a decision on what he will do next. Instead of him hanging on and trying to continue to play, he has announced he is going to retire. And honestly, it was time he did so. It would have been painful saying that he wanted to continue to try and play. And what would have been even stranger is if he would have continued to play in a different uniform. Wayne was a career Indianapolis Colt, so the thought of him in another uniform is not only weird but something that would make you scratch your head. He leaves the game with 1,070 receptions, 14, 345 career receiving yards and 82 career touchdowns.
In leaving the game this way, we still remember the lengthy career he had with the Colts. He was a part of turning the franchise around and winning a title for the team. He was also a part of helping bring along Andrew Luck after he replaced Peyton Manning. The one thing that was always there about Reggie Wayne was his route-running. Wayne was never a speed merchant at all. You would very rarely look up and say that Wayne used his speed to beat anyone on a route. But for what he did not have in speed, he more than made up for it in his routes. Wayne always came out of his routes very crisply all the times. That precise route-running enabled quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck to trust he would be where he was supposed to be when they threw the football. The result, more times than not, was a productive play to help the team win games. But along with the precise route-running, Wayne also had a great pair of hands. Over his career, he always caught a solid percentage of the passes thrown his way. Quarterbacks knew that if they threw it in the vicinity of Wayne, he was going to come up with the catch. That kind of ability to catch the football speaks to the great hand-eye coordination that he had. And it also speaks to all the hard work that he put in each and every offseason to hone his craft.
So now that Reggie’s career has come to an end, has it been enough to get him into the Hall Of Fame? Well, looking the numbers, he may be standing outside the Hall Of Fame, never to get in. The receivers he is going up against these days have more receptions, receiving yards and also more touchdowns. The three next receivers that will be potentially going into the Hall Of Fame are Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Compared to Harrison, Owens and Moss, he has more career receptions than Moss but less career yards (Moss’ 15,292 yards to Wayne’s 14,345 career yards) . He has nearly the same amount of career receiving yards and career receptions as former Colts teammate Marvin Harrison, but he has way less career touchdown receptions (Marvin’s 128 to Wayne’s 82). And when you take Wayne’s numbers and compare them to Terrell Owens, he has way more yards and touchdown receptions. So when you put his numbers up against three guys that will be in the Hall Of Fame, the odds are not good that Reggie will make the Hall Of Fame. Of course in Indianapolis Colts history, he will be one of the greatest receivers all time. And the Colts will eventually have a ceremony for him in his honor. But the celebration in Canton will probably never be coming. The only option he has is if he is the senior representative way down the line.
The career of Reggie Wayne was great to watch. He was a consummate professional in every sense of the word. He was there when the Colts were building towards a title with Peyton Manning. Wayne was there when the Colts won a title and he was also there when the Colts were down after Peyton missed a season due to injuries. And he was even there when the Colts were trying to rebuild with Andrew Luck and a bunch of young pups. He has been there through all points of his career and been an excellent professional. And for that, the game will definitely miss him. Hats off to a great career Reggie. He will not make the Hall Of Fame, but he will be remembered as a very good receiver.