No active NFL receiver has more total career yards than Reggie Wayne, and the wide out is looking for a new home in 2015. The Indianapolis Colts announced in March that they would be parting ways with the 14-year veteran, but Wayne has plans to play next season.
He’s still a free agent with a little more than a week to go until the start of NFL training camps, but Wayne says that he’s been in contact with multiple teams. The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers have expressed interest in Wayne, according to Dave Furst of WRTV-6 in Indianapolis.
Furst reported that the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens were also looking at the possibility of signing Wayne, but it no longer appears that they are interested in the 36-year-old. The Denver Broncos have also moved on from a potential pursuit of Wayne.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has spoken highly of Wayne in the past, even as recently as last November when Wayne was in the midst of his worst season in a decade. New England doesn’t necessarily need Wayne, though they didn’t have a wide receiver reach the 1,000-yard mark last season. Tight end Rob Gronkowski led the team with 1,124 yards.
Green Bay has one of the best pairs of wide receivers in all of football, as Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb combined for 2,806 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2014. The Packers would likely be among Wayne’s preferred destinations, considering they are the betting favorites to win Super Bowl 50.
While Wayne probably wants to play for a team that has a good chance to win a title, there’s little reason for the Patriots or Packers to spend a significant portion of their remaining salary cap space on a wide receiver that is past his prime. It might make more sense for a team like the Oakland Raiders to offer Wayne a deal, considering they need help on the offensive end and still have a lot of money to spend.
Oakland is one of just five teams that is at least $20 million under the cap. While they signed Michael Crabtree and drafted Amari Cooper in the first round, the Raiders could use another weapon for quarterback Derek Carr. Oakland ranked last in total yards in the NFL last year, and are lacking in veteran leadership from the receiving corp. Crabtree is entering his seventh season, but the rest of the unit is relatively inexperienced. Wayne could serve as a quality option for the passing game, as Cooper adjusts to the NFL.
Wayne has been a top receiver for much of his career, but those days appear to be long gone. After totaling at least 960 yards in every season from 2004-2012, Wayne posted just 1,282 yards in 22 games from 2013-2014. T.Y. Hilton surpassed him as the Colts’ leading receiver, and tight end Coby Fleener ended last season just five yards behind Wayne.