Trae Waynes admits to being 'pissed off' when Vikings drafted him

Jordy McElroy
Vikings Wire

Here’s a Trae Waynes story you haven’t heard before, and it involves the team that drafted him, the Minnesota Vikings.

During an interview on the Geary & Stein Sports Show, the free agent cornerback talked about an incident that occurred at the 2015 NFL draft that left him feeling bitter when he was selected.

Things escalated to the point where he admitted to being angry the moment he saw a Minnesota area code calling his phone on draft day. The Vikings were on the other end ready to inform him they were selecting him with the No. 11 overall pick.

Under normal circumstances, Waynes would have been ecstatic for that phone call. But in this particular situation, an unexpected mix-up had the Michigan State defensive back feeling upset before he even walked onto the stage and accepted his jersey from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Don’t be mad at me. I’m going to explain it, but I was kind of pissed off about it,” said Waynes. “I was mad because all of the draft projections and all of that stuff was like, ‘He’s going to Minnesota, Minnesota, Minnesota.’

“…So we get to the green room, and I’m thinking Minnesota. And so I look at my agent and I'm like, ‘Alright, so what’s happening?’ And he looks at me—and I kid you not—he says, ‘Minnesota said they’re not taking you.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, [expletive] them. If they don’t want me, I don’t want to go there.’ …Now, I don’t know if it was Rick [Spielman] playing mind games with people to make it seem like they’re not going to get me so I’m still on the board.”

Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) runs from New York Jets wide receiver Charone Peake (17) after making an interception during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

More:Trae Waynes, released by Bengals in March: 'Honestly, in my head, I'm done'

Waynes had no way of knowing why or even if the Vikings had soured on him.

So it wasn’t anything personal with the team itself. It simply came down to him believing he was going to a team and then suddenly being told that team was no longer interested in him.

When his phone started ringing, he didn’t know how to react.

“I would say I’m very stubborn. So I hold grudges. So I had wrote Minnesota off the table. I’m like [expletive] them,” said Waynes. “In my head, I'm like, ‘I don’t want to go there, anyways.’

“So my phone starts ringing, and I was like, ‘No, what the [expletive]?’ So I was already pissed off. So they called me, and then if you watch the whole [expletive] draft video or whatever, I mean, I’m happy, but there’s not really a smile on my face because I had already written Minnesota off.”

Everything ultimately worked out in the end for Waynes, who admitted to enjoying his time in Minnesota.

He spent five years with the team before signing a three-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020. However, he was released back in March, and he has now shifted focus to life outside of football.

Sports aren’t supposed to last forever. At age 29 and with his health still intact, he can walk away proudly knowing he gave it his all. But we may never know what really happened on that draft night.

Was Spielman showing a little gamesmanship, or did the Vikings really change their mind?

Another mystery in a long line of many involving the previous regime.