Three weeks before training camp is set to open for veterans, cornerback Trae Waynes still hasn't inked his contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The CB agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract with the Bengals in March. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Waynes has been unable to sign his deal. While other teams have signed players with whom they'd agreed to terms (some allowing physicals at private practices), the Bengals won't formalize the deal until Waynes can take a physical with team doctors, which the league has prohibited.
The 28-year-old cornerback is frustrated with the holdup.
"That sh--'s terrible. It's still going on for me," Waynes said on the Behind the Mask Podcast, via SI.com. "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."
Waynes' frustration not only stems from not getting his contract signed, but he hasn't been able to work out with vigor, at the advice of his agent. Until the deal is finalized, Waynes takes all the risk that an injury could occur and scuttle everything.
"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 said. "For me, the free agent thing, it was cool, I was excited for it, but it's been a (expletive) headache since it really started."
With current NFL protocols dictating physicals be taken at the start of training camp, which is scheduled for July 28, it's unclear whether Waynes' situation will be resolved before then.