BOSTON (CBS) — Reggie Wayne joined the Patriots for 11 days during the 2015 preseason before asking to be released. The former Colts wide receiver took heat in New England for his quick stint with the Patriots and the $450,000 signing bonus that came with it, especially after being reported as saying the work environment with the Patriots was “too tough” and “not fun.”
Wayne joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand at Radio Row in Houston to talk about his time in New England. He disputed what Scott Zolak’s source told him about the Patriots being “too tough” for him – in fact, he didn’t even think it was as hard as his time in Indianapolis.
“To be honest with you the Colts offense, I believed, was harder,” said Wayne. “Granted I was [with the Patriots] for 11 days. That being said … It’s not about being hard. I know offenses. I know concepts. At the end of the day, they’re all the same. It’s just getting the language. I’ve been playing a long time. So, ‘hard?’ No.”
Zolak asked Wayne if his time with the Patriots wasn’t fun, which he also denied. He explained that he was simply at a point in his life where his obligations to his wife and four sons trumped anything related to football.
“I love football. Then I started having kids and that became more important,” said Wayne. “My thing was already faith, family, football … in that order. So my family came before football. My kids came before football.”
As for the $450,000 bonus that Wayne received from the Patriots, he insisted that it was not about getting paid.
“If [the Patriots] wanted to take the money back, they could have had the money,” said Wayne. “I didn’t beg for the money. I don’t play for the money. I was never one of the highest-paid guys. To hell with the money.”
Despite spending such a short time in New England, Wayne admitted that he was impressed with the Patriots’ operation and understands their success.
“For the 11 days, I saw a lot of stuff that was like, ‘Wow. Now I get it. Now I understand,'” said Wayne. “[Bill Belichick’s] attention to detail is like no other. We had a 45-minute meeting just on enthusiasm – just guys celebrating together and not being individualized. You respect that. You get that. I understand that now.
“When you see the Patriots play, you see everybody celebrating together. Now you know where it comes from.”
Whatever his reasons were for leaving the Patriots after 11 days, being a Patriot ostensibly helped lead to Wayne’s decision to retire and spend more time with his family.
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