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In a surprising twist, free agent wide receiver Reggie Wayne has decided to come back to Indianapolis rather than be part of a “package deal” with former teammate Peyton Manning.
As ESPN insider Adam Schefter first reported, Wayne and the Colts came to an agreement on a three-year deal Tuesday evening. According to Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio, the deal is worth $17.5 million with $7.5 million guaranteed.
The news is most interesting in light of Wayne’s discontent with his contract in recent years. The impression has been he would leave as soon as his deal expired. As recently as last week, there was no evidence of any effort by the Colts to keep him. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Wayne would be gone.
Florio notes that Wayne’s decision to stay seems even more unusual in light of the fact that so many veteran players are gone, and the team will be in full-blown rebuilding mode.
Given all that -- with Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai no longer with the team (and with Anthony Gonzalez informed he'll be allowed to move on, too), it was starting to look like Luck was going to have his work cut out for him in Indianapolis.
Now that Wayne is back in the mix, the former Stanford signal-caller will have an experienced five-time Pro Bowler at his disposal, which should help with his transition from the Pac-12 to the NFL.
In 2011, Wayne still excelled even as Manning missed the entire season after neck surgery. Wayne had 75 receptions for 960 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2010, Wayne had a career-high 111 receptions for 1,355 yards and six touchdowns. He has 11,708 career receiving yards, putting him 22nd on the all-time list. He is one of only 26 receivers in NFL history to have more than 11,000 yards.