Well, the first free agent acquisition of the 2012 league year has arrived, and it’s a familiar, yet unexpected face:
Reggie Wayne re-signing a three-year deal with Colts. Agreement reached.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012
Most people thought Wayne would be gone once free agency hit, perhaps to follow Peyton Manning to his eventual destination. But, less than six hours after his contract expired, Reggie was once again a Colt.
Here are the specifics of the deal, per PFT:
Per league source, WR Reggie Wayne gets three-year, $17.5 million deal to stay in Indy.$7.5 million guaranteed, not sure if “fully.”
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 14, 2012
With the glaring hole at wide receiver, Wayne brings a dependable, veteran target for soon-to-be rookie QB Andrew Luck. With Austin Collie and Wayne as the top two targets, the Colts will almost certainly add another player via the draft or free agency, but Colts fans should take comfort in the fact that Luck will be throwing to two receivers who were top 15 in the league in drop rate last season.
The Colts still lack a vertical threat, however, and will need to replace Pierre Garcon, who signed a large (read: excessive) contract with the Washington Redskins.
Personally, I, and CA’s Joe Baker, think that paying Wayne less than six million dollars a year for the next three years is a better deal than paying Garcon over eight million. While the deal is a little much for Wayne’s diminishing athleticism, his leadership in the locker room, especially for Luck, should make it worth it.
I, for one, am glad to have him back.