Former Vikings cornerback looking to get back on track in 2021

(Photo by Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services) Trae Waynes
(Photo by Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services) Trae Waynes /

After missing the entire 2020 season, former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes will try to make an impact for the Cincinnati Bengals this year.

Last year, the Minnesota Vikings said goodbye to several longtime contributors, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Former Vikings first-round pick, Trae Waynes, was among those to walk out the door during the 2020 offseason, and he wound up signing a lucrative deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Unfortunately for Waynes, he suffered a serious injury before he could even appear in a game for the Bengals, and he missed the entire 2020 campaign.

Will former Minnesota Vikings corner Trae Waynes succeed with the Cincinnati Bengals?

During his time with Minnesota, Waynes was a solid piece of the team’s defense. However, he was never able to fulfill the high expectations that were given to him when he was a first-round draft pick in 2015.

The last time Waynes was out on the field for a regular-season contest was in 2019 with the Vikings. In 14 games for Minnesota in 2019, the 28-year-old cornerback finished with 58 tackles (four for a loss), eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one interception. He also gave up a 74 percent allowed completion rate, five touchdowns, and a 107.9 passer rating when in coverage.

Despite some struggles in his final season with the Vikings, Cincinnati still decided to give the veteran cornerback a three-year contract worth $42 million during the 2020 offseason. The Bengals were hoping Waynes could help improve a defense that gave up the second-most net yards per pass attempt in 2019.

But as we mentioned before, the former Minnesota corner didn’t even get to suit up for Cincinnati last season. Waynes suffered a torn pectoral muscle last summer and it required him to undergo season-ending surgery.

This year, the former Vikings cornerback will be a member of a new-look Bengals defense that now features Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, Larry Ogunjobi, Ricardo Allen, and Mike Hilton.

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Waynes was a part of an up-and-coming defense when he first joined Minnesota’s roster in 2015. Will he be able to remain healthy enough in 2021 to help Cincinnati’s defense follow a similar path?