The Broncos Should Take a Chance on Reggie Wayne


Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) reacts against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We’re on day six of free agency and not a single wide receiver has been signed by the Denver Broncos.

Now, it’s not exactly a position of need for a team that has two Pro Bowl receivers and a second-round pick from last year waiting in the wings.

Add in the high usage of tight ends in Gary Kubiak’s offense, and the Broncos actually look pretty set after re-signing Virgil Green, along with the additions of the versatile Owen Daniels and mammoth-sized “rookie” Joe Don Duncan.

Yet, with the likely release of Andre “Bubba” Caldwell, including the departure of Wes Welker via free agency, the Broncos are in need of some depth at receiver. There’s no better fit for a Peyton Manning-led offense, or a more sure thing, than veteran Reggie Wayne.

Wayne was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2001 and played alongside Manning his entire career before the legendary quarterback’s release in 2012. Manning and Wayne became one of the greatest QB-WR combos the NFL had ever seen and their chemistry was practically unmatched.

When Manning sat out the 2011 season recovering from neck surgery, Wayne was still able to maintain a respectable level of production despite an abysmal quarterback situation that led the Colts to a league-worst 2-14 record. It also led them to one, Andrew Luck.

Luck took the reins in 2012 and Wayne was back to looking like his dynamic self, registering over 1,300 receiving yards on 106 receptions, the second highest totals in his career.

Age and injury finally caught up with the former first-round pick out of Miami and Wayne missed all but seven games the next season after tearing his ACL in Week 7.

He recovered relatively fine, but with the emergence of young playmakers like T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen, there seemed to be no room in the Colts’ future for the veteran receiver.

Wayne was ultimately cut before the start of free agency, regardless of his desire to play one more year in Indy.

Since his release, Wayne has reportedly echoed his sentiments about wanting to play for a real contender as his career comes to a close.

Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) lines up against Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (29) during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

All Colts grow up to be Broncos, right? First it was Peyton Manning, now could it be Reggie Wayne?

Although Wayne did post career lows since 2003 last season in receptions (64), receiving yards (779) and touchdowns (2), he still managed to squeeze out a pretty productive season in the face of a crowded receiving core and his tough task of bouncing back from a brutal injury at such an advanced age.

All Colts grow up to be Broncos, right? First it was Peyton Manning, now could it be Reggie Wayne?

Considering the fact that his chemistry with Manning has likely remained intact, coupled with the expectation of him being the fourth wideout in rotation, he could post somewhat similar numbers if he came to Denver.

Wayne has also consistently been one of the most reliable receivers in the league, but it is a bit unnerving to know that he had nine dropped passes in 2014. That might not sound like a whole lot, but seeing as he only had 64 catches on 116 targets, it’s a less than desirable ratio.

The Broncos don’t want to go through another season shackled to an older possession receiver who has problems hanging on to the ball. Here’s looking at you, Mr. Welker.

Nonetheless, Wayne missed just one lone game in 2014 and still managed to produce decent numbers to warrant a look from the Broncos.

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If nothing else, his years of experience and veteran leadership would both be welcomed additions to an incredibly young Bronco team. With Demaryius Thomas being the oldest receiver on the roster at 27 years of age, Wayne could teach Denver’s wideouts a new trick or two.

The main beneficiary of such a presence would undoubtedly be sophomore receiver Cody Latimer. As a second-round pick in 2014, Latimer has great expectations on his shoulders to perform next season and Wayne’s being in Denver could simply help him in meeting those expectations.

On the field and in the locker room, the signing of Wayne makes too much sense for the Broncos at this point. In any case, it’d only help a team who has hopes of bringing home another Lombardi Trophy to Denver.

Next: Broncos Bringing in Solid Veteran Experience