The free-agency process during a pandemic has been anything but kind to former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes.
The sixth-year veteran agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in March after he hit unrestricted free agency with the cap-strapped Vikings. He sought the better deal that Vikings couldn’t match under its current contracts.
To his disbelief, Waynes has yet to see a dime for the time he’s put in with the Bengals — participating in virtual offseason meetings — due to an internal team policy that has kept him from putting a pen to his deal.
The Bengals require players to receive a physical from a team doctor before signing their deals, but the team physicians have been unavailable during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Waynes has been left in limbo. He should continue to prepare for the 2020 season, but how intensive his training is has been a prevailing question as he doesn’t want to risk injury and lose out on his deal. His agent has advised him “not to do any football drills” until the deal is finalized.
Waynes even moved his family to Cincinnati in good faith and to help ease the transition, but he has yet to find relief. Waynes is waiting for training camp to begin on July 28 to get his physical. He recently aired his grievances on the Behind the Mask podcast with former New England Patriots linebacker Takeo Spikes:
That sh–‘s terrible. It’s still going on for me. I signed here, but I ain’t really sign here. It was cool at first. I’m thinking it’ll be done and over with. Ninety percent of the league, it’s done for them.
I expressed to my agent ‘I’m trying to train, but I don’t want to train too hard because if I (get hurt)… then what?
How am I supposed to make myself better, without being able to push myself the way I want to push myself to have success? For me, the free-agent thing, it was cool, I was excited for it, but it’s been a f—n headache since it really started,” Waynes added.
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Trae Waynes ‘Could Have Stayed in Minnesota’
Waynes explained that had he known the process to getting signed would have been so delayed, he could have stayed in Minnesota and trained with people he’s familiar with, instead of waiting and adjusting on the fly in an area he’s not familiar with.
“I could have stayed in Minnesota and took my time. I had a lakehouse — could have been on the boat enjoying my summer — worked out with my trainer. If I knew all of this would have happened I could have went about it differently… instead of up and moving and finding a place quick… I’m just here figuring sh— out.”
Waynes had a $1.7 million lakehouse mansion off Lake Minnetonka in Minnetrista. It has yet to be confirmed if he has sold the property or not.
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