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Veteran CB Trae Waynes ready to move on from NFL career: ‘In my head, I’m done’

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Trey Waynes has lived his footballing dream and after two injury-riddled years in Cincinnati, he is ready to end the chase and move on to the next phase of his life.

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Although he doesn’t make it official (at least not yet), Waynes has effectively done away with professional football. Cornerback and former first round pick told the Geary & Stein Sports Show podcast he is no longer interested in continuing his football career after seven seasons in the NFL.

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“It’s open, but I don’t really study anything, to be honest,” Waynes said. “In fact, several teams called. To be honest, everything is ready in my head. I don’t officially do it just because I don’t give a damn (expletive). But I’m retired, but I didn’t announce it. or anything.”

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The main reason for Waynes’ decision is health. His last two campaigns have given the former Michigan State star enough frustration to decide it’s time to stop fighting, even after he won the Super Bowl with the Bengals in the 2021 season.

“It didn’t feel like a Super Bowl for me because my time in Cincinnati was all about injury,” Waynes explained. … “It’s something I never experienced in Minnesota.”

… “I was supposed to play in the Super Bowl – well, I played a little bit – but I had to participate, but I ended up getting injured again … I told my wife that after the game. I thought, “There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing that you’re supposed to be there, but physically you can’t because your body just crashes.” “

Waynes began his career with the 11th pick in the 2015 draft, joining Minnesota as a touted quarterback with high expectations. He never made it to the Pro Bowl, but Waynes was a solid defenseman, recording five interceptions and 26 defensive assists in his first three seasons.

Waynes moved from Minnesota to Cincinnati in 2020, signing a three-year, $42 million contract with the Bengals. However, before he could take the field for the Bengals, Waynes suffered a lacerated chest injury during practice and missed the entire 2020 season. 2021 hasn’t been much kinder to Waynes, who has played a total of five games and found himself back on injury reserve during the season.

He was able to return to Cincinnati’s postseason run for Super Bowl LVI but served merely as a special team player. And, as Waynes said, he was unable to help his team as he would have liked in their most important game due to an ankle injury.

After all the frustrations, Waynes believes it’s more important to maintain his physical health and spend time with his family and run his own hunting business. Even a reunion with a former Viking mate and former Viking teammate failed to convince Waynes to try again.

“I actually almost went to Philadelphia to get back with JG (Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon) and Ant (defensive Anthony Harris). But at that moment, I thought, “I’m ready to go,” Waynes said. “Will I be able to continue playing for a few more years? Yes. But I have a family, I want to be with my children more.

… “As for me, I played, I lived the dream, I did it, I made enough money to take care of my family. Being able to leave on my own terms is something I’ve always wanted to do. … There is more to life than football. And I want to enjoy life outside of football without limping and walking in pain all the time and stuff like that. It’s bittersweet, but in the end I know it’s probably the right decision. “

If this is true for Waynes, then he ends his career with 79 games (57 starts), seven steals, 43 passes defended, 259 tackles (nine per loss) and one sack in seven seasons. He will move on to the next phase of his life with the peace of mind gained from going out on his own terms.



Source: www.nfl.com

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