Trae Waynes has been a massive disappointment for the Bengals

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

Since signing with the Bengals in March 2020, cornerback Trae Waynes has played all of two games for the team. How disappointing has he been for Cincinnati?

When the Cincinnati Bengals signed Trae Waynes during the 2020 free agency period, they thought they were getting a solid-to-good cornerback whose track record said he was always available — they were sadly mistaken.

In his first five seasons, all with the Minnesota Vikings, Waynes was available for 79 of the 85 regular season and playoff games — about 92% of the team’s games in that stint. In his two years in Cincinnati, he’s played only two of a possible 21 games with the Bengals. And with him just being added to injured reserve, the Wayne signing is proving to be a missed mark for the organization.

How disappointing has Trae Wayne been for the Bengals?

On March 27, 2020, the Bengals agreed to a deal worth $42 million over three years with Wayne, then experiencing his first free agency. While he wasn’t the best corner available, he was coveted enough to warrant Cincinnati paying him $14 million a year despite no Pro Bowl appearances.

With his seven interceptions and 42 pass deflections in Minnesota, the former 11th-overall pick figured to be an immediate contributor to the Bengals. That hasn’t been the case at all. ‘

He missed the entire 2020 season with a torn pectoral muscle, he missed the first three games of this season with a hamstring issue and now, the 29-year-old is headed to injured reserve because of the hamstring injury. He’ll at the least be forced to sit out of the next three Cincinnati games.

How are the Bengals holding up without him?

Despite his continued absence, the Bengals’ defense has formed into one of the league’s best this year. They are the 11th-ranked team in terms of yards allowed and hold opponents to just 20 points a game. The secondary did struggle this past week, especially with containing Davante Adams, who went for over 200 yards and torched the group all afternoon long.

The players stepping up for Wayne are Chidobi Awuzie, Eli Apple and Mike Hilton, all of who were offseason additions for the team. In just five games this season, simply by being available to play, they’ve all made bigger impacts than Wayne.

That’s disappointing — Wayne almost makes more than all three of them combined (per

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Even if he returns and plays somewhat well, Waynes is certainly a lock to go down as one of the worst Bengals free agent signings of all-time.