Colts WR Wayne on contract: 'We haven't had any talks'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne thinks it's great that Andre Johnson and Miles Austin are being paid big bucks.

He just wants to be included in the club.

On Friday, two days before the defending AFC champion Indianapolis Colts open the season in Houston against Johnson and the Texans, Wayne used a lighthearted approach to make a more serious point about his own situation.

"This offseason we were talking about contracts," Wayne said. "Once he got his done, I texted him, 'Congratulations,' and the first thing he asked me was, 'So what's up with yours? What are you going to do?' I texted him, 'Absolutely nothing.' At least somebody's getting paid. I'd also like to send congratulations out to Miles Austin. He got paid."

In August, Johnson signed a two-year extension that could pay him up to $38.5 million. Austin signed a six-year deal worth $54 million to stay with the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Wayne, who is second on the Colts' career list for receptions and receiving yards and third in touchdown catches, is playing out the final two years of a six-year, $39 million deal he signed four years ago.

So Wayne wants to redo his contract.

"It's either we'll get something done or we're not," he said. "We haven't had any talks. I can read in between the lines, I know what's going on. But I'm not going to let that affect my production. Like they say, it's a business, right? So I'm going to treat it like a business. I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do. And that's go out there and make plays."

Wayne skipped all of the Colts' team workouts this spring, including a mandatory three-day minicamp in June, in hopes of receiving a new contract.

It didn't work, and when training camp opened, Wayne showed up on time.

"I thought about it (holding out), but it's bigger than me," Wayne said Aug. 2. "I had already let my teammates down once."

Colts president Bill Polian has said that it's unlikely anything can be completed now because of the uncertain labor situation. NFL owners and the players' union are trying to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement before next season.

And the Colts' top contract priority is Peyton Manning. The quarterback's $98 million deal expires after this season, and team owner Jim Irsay has said he will make Manning the league's highest-paid player. That value was established Thursday night when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady signed a four-year, $72 million contract.

But Wayne won't be far behind Manning in the pecking order after posting his second 100-catch season in 2009 and a sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He has been to the Pro Bowl each of the last four years and the Super Bowl twice in that stretch.

What Colts fans will remember, though, is the ball Wayne didn't get in the Super Bowl -- the one that New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter ran back 74 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.

Wayne acknowledged he was upset for a couple of weeks, but a little time on the beach helped him get over it.

"That's football, man, that's the way it goes," he said. "I can't say it didn't bother me. But I like the direction we're headed."

And he's ready for some football.

"I feel great, man," he said. "I'm not going to say I feel like I'm 20. Maybe 21 would be more accurate. But we've got some guys around here to keep me feeling young. I feel great, and I'm ready to play. I'm 100 percent healthy, and I'm looking for a good game and a good season."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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