Free agent debated joining Eagles but will now ponder official retirement

Trae Waynes #26, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Trae Waynes #26, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Here’s something intriguing if you missed it. What if we told you there’s a possibility that the Philadelphia Eagles may have been oh so close to adding Trae Waynes before getting lucky and landing James Bradberry after the latter’s release from the rival New York Giants? Apparently, it could have happened… possibly.

During a recent appearance on the Geary and Stein Show podcast, Waynes made an appearance, and during what turned out to be a great interview, he lamented that he was strongly leaning towards joining Philly before ultimately deciding against doing so.

Here’s some of what he had to say on the subject.

"I mean, (I’m open to joining an NFL roster), but I’m not really exploring anything to be honest with you… Multiple teams have actually called, but in my head I’m done… I’m not officially doing it I’d say…I’m retired, but it’s not like I announced it or anything… I actually almost went to Philly to go back with J.G. (Jonathan Gannon) and Ant (Anthony Harris), but at this point, I’m ready to be done."

Waynes, though never a member of any Pro Bowl roster, has enjoyed a nice run of sustained success in the NFL before injuries railroaded him. He spent three seasons of his five-year run as a member of the Minnesota Vikings with Gannon as his assistant defensive backs coach. He and Harris were teammates for five seasons.

It’s easy to connect the dots. Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be.

The Eagles come out ahead as they add James Bradberry over Trae Waynes.

Though not officially retired, the former Minnesota Viking/Cincinnati Bengal appears to have his heart set on entering the next stage of his life. The timeline of his conversations with the Eagles brass isn’t clearly stated during the interview, but it makes sense to believe they occurred prior to the James Bradberry signing. There would have seemingly been no reason to assume Philadelphia would have made a huge push to land Waynes afterward. Thank goodness for patience and a bit of dumb luck.

Since joining the Bengals on March 27th of 2020, injuries have been a concern. On September 7th of that year, he was placed on the team’s injured reserve with a pectoral injury. Cincy moved him to their Reserve/COVID-19 list on November 6th and activated him from that list back to the injured reserve on November 18th.

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Waynes missed all but five regular-season games in 2021 and was deemed available for the playoffs, but he didn’t make any in-game appearances during the Bengals’ recent and phenomenal postseason run. The Bengals released him on March 21st of 2022.

With all due respect, Philly lucked out by adding Bradberry instead. He’s a former Pro Bowler (2020). He’s healthy, and by the looks of things, ready to enjoy a bounce-back season during the coming campaign. Fingers are crossed that he’s successful in his efforts.