FOXBORO, Mass. — Reggie Wayne has been spoiled rotten over the course of his 14-year career.
The veteran wide receiver has caught just 84 passes from passers not named Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck, and now he’s starting anew with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“I’m excited, I really am,” Wayne said. “(Brady)’s one of the best to ever do it. Tom has definitely welcomed me here. It’s outstanding. Not everybody can say they’ve had this journey that I’ve had, so I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Wayne agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots on Tuesday, and the deal became official Tuesday. Between trying to learn his playbook, how to get around Gillette Stadium and the names of his new teammates, Wayne was briefly able to chat to Brady.
“I’ve been so busy studying, (but) I talked to him,” Wayne said. “He’s excited to have me here. He’s looking forward to us partnering up. I told him, I said, ‘I know I’m a little behind. I’m going to do my best to catch up and during practice, whenever you want to go to the side and do some extra, I’m all for it.'”
If Brady begins the season with a four-game suspension, Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo will be far from the worst quarterback in which Wayne has ever caught a pass. Wayne has 28 receptions with Curtis Painter, 33 with Dan Orlovsky, 14 with Kerry Collins, seven with Jim Sorgi and one each from Matt Hasselbeck and running back Joseph Addai.
Bill Belichick said Wayne’s had an “outstanding” career, but the head coach was hesitant to praise the veteran wideout too much now that he’s in the Patriots system.
“I?ve coached him in Pro Bowls and those kinds of situations,” Belichick said. “This is obviously different. We?ll see how it goes, but glad we have him, excited to have him on the team. I think he can help us, but we?ll see.”
Belichick is on the record as saying Wayne is one of the best route runners in the history of the NFL. Wayne had similar praise for his new head coach.
“If that’s what he said about me, I’m on the other side saying he’s one of the best to ever do it in the coaching form,” Wayne said.
Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN