Reggie Wayne wanted to play one more year, and in that sense, his former Indianapolis Colts teammates are happy he agreed to a one-year contract Monday for the 2015 season.
Seeing him play for the arch-rival New England Patriots, though? That may take some getting used to.
Wayne, who played 14 seasons with Colts after being taken by the team in the first round of 2001 draft, wanted to return for another year, but the Colts, just as they did with another franchise great in Peyton Manning, decided it was time to move on during the offseason, electing not re-sign the receiver.
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"We're happy for him, but it's going to stink to have one of the greatest wide receivers in Colts history going up north to help them out," Colts punter Pat McAfee said, per ESPN. "When everything went to hell after that 2-14 year (n 2011), you see Peyton Manning suit up in another uniform. That's when it all kind of hit me personally that anybody could be somewhere else. It's a business."
The 36-year-old Wayne had over 14,000 yards receiving during his tenure with the Colts. Last season he caught 64 passes for 779 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think it's a great thing for Reggie and his family," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "We all know he wanted to play another year. That's tremendous."
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who left the Patriots in 2006 to sign with Indianapolis, said he hopes his former teammate has success in New England.
"I'm happy for him," Vinatieri said. "I know he wanted to play football. He's a great competitor and great athlete. He's going to make that team better. It'll be interesting to see him come here, having him have a different jersey on…I know I'm going to give him a big hug and say, 'Congratulations and good luck.'"
McAfee said he wishes Wayne the best as well, with one notable exception.
"Hopefully our guys will be able to lock down Reggie," McAfee said. "You have to hope he has a great game against everybody else except for us."
Wayne and his new Patriots teammates will visit Lucas Oil stadium Week 6. A game that already was shaping up to be one of the most-anticipated of the regular season with Tom Brady's return from his Deflategate suspension just added another intriguing storyline.