There has been several contract extensions in recent weeks but none of them have been handed out by the Indianapolis Colts. The team seems to be focusing solely on finalizing a contract extension for their star-quarterback, Peyton Manning. While that strategy is hard to contest, their Pro-Bowl wide-receiver, Reggie Wayne, seems to be getting very little attention these days.
Wayne has been a consistent contributor for the Colts since he was drafted in 2001. He is closing in on 10,000 yards receiving and has four Pro Bowls to go with his statistical totals. But despite his on-the-field play, Wayne has not been approached about a contract extension from the team. The Colts may be reluctant to offer Wayne an extension for a number of reason.
The first thing to consider is that Wayne is currently 32 years old and is still signed for another two years. Secondly, the emergence of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie may suggest that Wayne’s production may be more related to Peyton Manning’s ability than his own. The last and possibly the biggest reason that the Colts are deciding to wait this situation out could be because of Wayne’s performance down the stretch last season. If you look at Waynes numbers from week 10 all the way through the Super Bowl, there wasn’t a single game where he caught over 8 passes and during this time he only had one one-hundred yard receiving game. It’s worth noting that the Colts rested their starters in the final two weeks of the season but what this information suggests more than anything is that the Colts success is not dependent upon Reggie Wayne’s ability to anchor the teams passing game. The team is just as effective and possibly more dangerous by spreading the ball around than looking his way whenever they are in need of a big play.
Wayne is no doubt a talented receiver and his age isn’t as big of a problem as it may seem but the Colts system remains the teams strong point and committing a large amount of money to a replaceable player may not be the wisest decision in their eyes. Given that the immediate future of the NFL remains uncertain, Wayne may be in a tough position of fighting for a new contract while there are more options than normal in the free-agent market.