Cincinnati Bengals: Trae Waynes deal could end up backfiring

Trae Waynes, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Trae Waynes, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals signed cornerback Trae Waynes last year with the hopes that he’d step into their secondary and make an immediate impact. Unfortunately, the long-time Minnesota Viking injured himself last August and never took the field for his new team during the course of the 2020 season.

Waynes returned to the lineup for training camp this summer but suffered an injury on Wednesday that had him limping off the field. As of Thursday, head coach Zac Taylor said it was too early to tell if Waynes would play in Week 1 when his old team comes to Cincinnati to kick off the regular season.

The Bengals signed Waynes to a three-year deal worth $42 million last offseason and so far, it’s led to zero regular-season starts for the cornerback. There’s a potential out on his contract this offseason and if Waynes misses an extended period of time as a result of his hamstring injury, the Bengals could opt to move on and put this contract in the rearview mirror.

Trae Waynes deal not looking good for Cincinnati Bengals

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The Bengals went to work in improving their secondary this offseason, signing Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton to join Waynes in the cornerback room. Both Awuzie and Hilton have shined bright this summer and look to be worth the dough Cincinnati spent on them.

Waynes, however, hasn’t been the guy the Bengals were hoping he’d be when they signed him to that three-year deal. There’s still time for Waynes to show he was worthy of that contract but if he misses an extended period of time from this injury, all the Bengals are going to think about him is that he’s injury-prone.

Hopefully, he recovers and plays well, shedding that injury-prone label in the process.

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There’s still time for Trae Waynes to be that same player he was in Minnesota but it’s going to take some time.