Bill Belichick’s heartfelt gesture for Reggie Wayne in 2015, revealed
Bill Belichick’s tough exterior and the extreme discipline associated with the “Patriot way” may paint him as not as much of a player’s coach compared to other head coaches in the league. However, one thing is for certain: the New England Patriots tactician cares about his players.
Former NFL star Reggie Wayne knows that more than most. After spending the first 14 seasons of his career setting records with the Indianapolis Colts, a 36-year-old Wayne decided to give it one more shot after coming off triceps surgery months prior.
The Patriots gave the future Hall of Famer that opportunity. Unfortunately, Wayne only spent two weeks with New England during training camp before requesting his release from the team.
Wayne signed a one-year deal with the Patriots which came with a $450,000 signing bonus. Feeling bad about his short stint with the team, Wayne expected to give back the bonus to the team.
That’s where Belichick came in.
“I went up to him and I said, ‘Hey, this is what it is. I know got a signing bonus. I’ll give it back, no biggie. Bill Belichick told me to keep it,” Reggie Wayne said on Dan Hellie’s Helliepod podcast. I’m like, ‘Hey, you ain’t got to bend my arm back twice.’ He told me to keep it. And that was love, man. And I always had respect for him. I’ve heard people and seen stuff that he’s done on camera of his respect for me, and maybe that was just his sign of appreciation. We had a lot of battles against that team, so he told me to keep it. We kept it in the bank. I appreciate it. Hey, the best job ever.”
Wayne eventually announced his retirement in January of 2016, with the six-time Pro Bowler ending his career 10th on the NFL’s All-Time receiving list.