Trae Waynes on free agency: 'It's been a f---ing headache'

James Rapien

CINCINNATI — Trae Waynes' agent voiced frustration with the way the Bengals have handled their free agent signings this offseason. 

COVID-19 has changed everyone's lives, including players, coaches and anyone else associated with the NFL. The league has stayed on schedule, but they aren't allowing players into team facilities to take their physicals. 

It's a safety measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19. That means Waynes and the other seven unrestricted free agents that the Bengals signed are still waiting to finalize their contracts. 

Some organizations have allowed incoming players to take their physicals at private practices, but Cincinnati and multiple other teams want to wait until their incoming free agents are allowed at team facilities. 

"That sh--'s terrible. It's still going on for me," Waynes said on the Behind the Mask Podcast when asked about free agency. "I signed here, but I ain't really sign here. It was cool at first and I'm thinking it'll be done and over with. Ninety percent of the league, it's done for them. I know Cincy and a couple of other teams, they still ain't pay nobody or let them take their physicals, so it's technically still going on."

Former Bengals great Takeo Spikes hosts the podcast. He was the first person to talk to Waynes on the record after agent Brian Murphy voiced his frustration about the deal not being finalized. 

"It sucks because like I expressed to my agent, I was like, 'yo, I'm trying to like train,'" Waynes continued. "But I don't want to train too hard because [if] I f--- around and get hurt, then what? It's a struggle because you're trying figure out how to train and prepare for something that may or may not happen and you don't want to risk injury."

Murphy advised Waynes and other clients that haven't signed their contracts not to do any football drills according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.  

Waynes, 27, agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract with the Bengals on St. Patrick's Day. He never thought he'd still be waiting to sign the deal four months later. 

"How am I supposed to make myself better, without being able to push myself the way I want to push myself to have success?" Waynes asked. "For me, the free agent thing, it was cool, I was excited for it, but it's been a f--king headache since it really started." 

Waynes spent part of the offseason working out in Michigan. He's been training in Cincinnati over the past few weeks. 

He and his family moved to the Queen City earlier in the offseason. He hoped that would allow him to finalizing his contract, but that won't happen for a few more weeks. 

Training camp is scheduled to start on July 28. Waynes could be allowed in the facilities on that date or maybe a few days before the start of camp to undergo his physical.

"If I knew all of this would've happened I could've went about it a little differently," Waynes said. "I could've took my time instead of just up and moving, finding a place quick and trying to hurry in and get things started."

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