Former Vikings cornerback in contract limbo with the Bengals

(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Trae Waynes
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Trae Waynes /

Trae Waynes made some good money with the Minnesota Vikings but has yet to see a penny of his new contract with the Bengals due to a catch-22 situation.

After spending five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Trae Waynes was allowed to hit free agency by the purple and gold. He landed with the Cincinnati Bengals on a three-year deal worth $42 million.

It is great to see Waynes get a nice payday after being a solid defensive back during his time in Minnesota, but the question of when he will actually become a member of the Bengals has to be asked since he has yet to receive a single penny of his $5 million signing bonus due to complications from COVID-19 according to Albert Breer at Sports Illustrated.

While the two parties still seem to agree to the terms of the contract, Waynes reportedly can’t sign his contract until he passes a physical. Since Cincinnati isn’t allowing third party physicians to perform the physicals, the former Michigan State standout will need to wait until the Bengals facility opens to ink his contract.

Even though he has moved his family to Ohio and is physically available to work out, Breer states that NFL guidelines advise against meeting with doctors outside of the facility and the gamble of an injury during a workout places the defensive back in a situation where he can’t really do anything.

Of course, Waynes isn’t hurting for money. He made nearly $13 million from his rookie contract and another $9 million thanks to the Minnesota Vikings exercising their fifth-year option on the former first-round pick.

It’s crazy to think that the Bengals and Waynes came to terms on Mar. 17 and have yet to finalize their deal. However, this is a situation facing many players who need a physical to sign their contracts around the league.

Signing any player will be difficult until a physical can be completed, meaning there could be situations where rookies will need to wait until even deeper into the offseason to get to work with their teams. With player cuts to trim the roster coming soon, some may never even set foot on the practice field.

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Stories of players struggling to move forward due to COVID-19 will be interesting to follow as training camp continues to creep closer. Hopefully, players like Trae Waynes who are suffering the strange catch-22 situations will be ready when it is time to play some meaningful games this season.