Trae Waynes: In my head, I’m done playing

NFL: DEC 15 Vikings at Chargers
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Cornerback Trae Waynes has not signed with a team for the 2022 season and it doesn’t sound like that’s going to change.

During an appearance on the Geary & Stein Sports Show, Waynes was asked about his plans for the 2022 season. The 11th overall pick of the 2015 draft didn’t say there was no chance that he’d play again, but he said that he considers himself to be retired.

“I mean it’s open but I’m not really exploring anything to be honest with you,” Waynes said. “Multiple teams have actually called, but in my head I’m done. I’m not officially doing it, I’d say, just because I don’t do that shit. I’m retired, but it’s not like I announced it or anything.”

Waynes was drafted by the Vikings and spent five seasons playing for the team before signing with the Bengals in 2020. He missed that year with a pectoral injury and only played five games last year because of a hamstring injury. He was released by the Bengals earlier this year.

Waynes said he “almost went to Philly” to play for former Vikings assistant and current Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon after being cut, but didn’t because he felt “ready to be done.” Waynes said he always wanted to walk away on his own terms and that “all the stuff happening with these former players, it kind of makes you nervous” about the life he’d be able to have outside of football if he kept playing.

Waynes had 259 tackles, seven interceptions, a sack, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 74 regular season games. He also had 12 tackles and an interception in five playoff games with Minnesota.

25 responses to “Trae Waynes: In my head, I’m done playing

  1. Another first round bust from the Speilman/Zimmer era. They hit well in later rounds, but almost always wasted their first pick.

  2. Drew his $28 mil the last two years to play a few games and be hurt. Why screw up success?

  3. Hated that pick, and the years he spent with the Vikings. The exact opposite of a press corner, and while he was a decent tackler, the fact remains that it’s better to break up passes or have the QB throw away from you, than to be known for your tackling skills.

  4. Another “big” piece of the Vikings defense that they “couldn’t afford” to keep because of Kirk’s contract…

  5. At least he was a little bit better than Jeff Gladney.

    The Vikings are pretty horrible at drafting.

  6. He’s lucky he got to cash in on an otherwise mediocre career. Hope he’s managed his money well.

  7. In other words if I need cash at some point I might need to go to the well again.

  8. CB must be the hardest position to evaluate. This guy had solid 10-yr shutdown Corner written all over him, and was average, at best.

  9. I think more guys will see 30 as the time to get out. Especially at some of these positions, if you want to live a semi-normal life, it’s not worth it if you’ve already had one big or even decent contract and didn’t come into the league as a minimum salary guy. Marion Barber is the tale of caution.

  10. Dude leaned hard on his closing speed to make plays and it didn’t work out the best at the NFL level. Too many other guys that are as fast or faster. Still made the best of what he had. Leave healthy, live happy.

  11. He should have to pay the Bengals back every penny they gave him. He never earned his money. Basically theft.

  12. That’s smart. I thought he was a good player. Football is the kind of thing where if you’re not 100% all in, you’re better off staying out. He made enough money. I think more guys should do that. Get in. Make enough money to retire. Get out. It’s brutal.

  13. Marcus Peters seemed like the obvious corner if that’s the position they wanted to take but the “CB guru” Mike Zimmer said this guy was better. Time to admit he just got lucky coaching Deion Sanders.

  14. kevines255 says:
    June 20, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    Another “big” piece of the Vikings defense that they “couldn’t afford” to keep because of Kirk’s contract…
    Now tell me why the Bengals signed him to a 3 year contract and cut him after only one year.

  15. Zim was really a pretty good coach. He was kind of what they needed at the time…I mean, they had a good 5 year run, ’15-’19, top 5 in that span. But alas, it fell apart. I don’t blame Cousins… well kind of, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. And Zimmer definitely bears the brunt. Hoping the new regime is successful.

  16. I’m not gonna fault a guy for being hurt, but I will never forget that even when healthy he couldn’t crack the rotation and his disappointing play is the ONLY reason Eli Apple was on the field to “cover” Cooper Kupp in the Super Bowl.

  17. No crime in retiring a couple of years early – especially with some nice earnings and being a vested veteran. Good for him coming out of his NFL years as a multi millionaire. In case anybody out there didn’t notice, the NFL is a rough sport, and sticking it out there for 7 years is nothing to thumb your nose at.

  18. What was the quadrangle of authority thinking when they drafted this guy???

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