Trae Waynes
refer to caption
Waynes with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015
No. 26
Personal information
Born: (1992-07-25) July 25, 1992 (age 29)
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Bradford (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
College:Michigan State (2011–2014)
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2021
Total tackles:252
Pass deflections:42
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at · PFR

Trae Waynes (born July 25, 1992) is a former American football cornerback. He played college football at Michigan State. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round, 11th overall of the 2015 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Early years

Waynes attended Harborside Academy but played for Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, because Harborside Academy doesn’t have sports[1] where he was teammate and best friend of running back Melvin Gordon, who would eventually be selected four spots after Waynes in the 2015 NFL Draft.[2] At Bradford, Waynes was a multi-sport athlete in football, baseball and track.[3] In football, Waynes was named first-team All-Southeast Conference as a junior in 2010. As a senior, he broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle, but still managed to record 38 tackles, two interceptions and four pass break-ups, earning first-team All-state and All-region selections by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. In baseball, Waynes earned first-team All-county honors as an outfielder as a junior in 2010 after leading the Red Devils in home runs (3) and finishing second in batting average (.452, 28-of-62). In addition, he also produced eight doubles and three triples while being caught stealing only once in 26 attempts.[4]

Waynes was also a standout track & field athlete. In 2010, he won the county indoor track championship in the 60-yard and 220-yard dashes and recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.37 s) at the Midwest Ultimate 100 Camp. In 2011, he finished third in the 100m (10.85 s) at the Division I State T&F Championships,[5] and recorded a career-best time of 10.75 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the SEC Outdoor Conference Meet, where he placed first.[6] He also contributed as a member of the 4 × 100m and 4 × 200-meter relay squads, with bests of 42.26 seconds and 1:28.98 minutes.[7]

Considered a three-star recruit by, Waynes was listed as the No. 94 safety in the nation in 2011.[8] He was rated the No. 72 cornerback and No. 94 safety in the nation by Scouts Inc. He was listed among the Midwest's top prospects by SuperPrep at No. 67. He was also rated among Wisconsin's top high school seniors by as the No. 14. Waynes chose Michigan State over scholarship offers from Illinois, Iowa State and Wisconsin, among others.[9]

College career

Waynes attended Michigan State University from 2011 to 2014, where he was a three-year letterwinner and a two-year starter at cornerback. He was redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 after suffering a season-ending injury when he broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his knee as a senior in high school. Waynes collected 101 tackles, six interceptions and 13 pass deflections in 36 career games with the Spartans, including 27 consecutive starts.

Freshman season (2012)

See also: 2012 Michigan State Spartans football team

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Waynes earned his first letter as he appeared in nine games, primarily on special teams and as a backup. In the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game against TCU, he played a majority of the snaps at cornerback and tallied a season-high three tackles; he was also credited with a half sack for a loss of 1 yard against the Horned Frogs. Waynes finished his freshman season with 5 tackles, including two solo.

Sophomore season (2013)

See also: 2013 Michigan State Spartans football team

As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Waynes started all 14 games at field cornerback for the Spartans, recording a career-high 50 tackles (1.5 for loss), five pass deflections and three interceptions.[10] For his season efforts, Waynes was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media, was named to the All-Sophomore Team (second team) and received MSU's Tommy Love Award (most improved player on defense).[11] In the Spartans 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game win against No. 2 Ohio State, he was credited with four stops. In the 2014 Rose Bowl game against No. 5 Stanford, he recorded his third interception of the season and tallied three tackles, helping Michigan State win their first Rose Bowl since 1988.

Junior season (2014)

See also: 2014 Michigan State Spartans football team

Waynes returned for his junior season in 2014, starting all 13 games at boundary corner. He ranked sixth on the team with 46 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and one sack for a loss of 4 yards.[12] His career-high eight pass break-ups ranked him second on the team, while his three interceptions were good for a tie at second.[13] In Week 5, he led the secondary in a victory over No. 19 Nebraska as he posted career-highs in interceptions (2), tackles (7) and pass break-ups (2). On September 6, he had a solid game against No. 3 Oregon with four tackles and a pass break-up. He was credited with a career-high two tackles for loss (9 yards), including a 4-yard sack, and a broken-up a pass at Indiana in Week 7. On November 22, he was selected Spartan Defensive Player of the Week after limiting Rutgers' wide receiver Leonte Carroo to just one catch for 6 yards while recording three tackles; Carroo entered the game ranked second in the Big Ten, averaging 93.3 receiving yards per game. In Waynes's final game as a Spartan, he registered three tackles and a pass break-up in the Cotton Bowl Classic win over #4 Baylor.

His senior season honors included being named second-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News and Athlon Sports, third-team All-American from the Associated Press (AP), Phil Steele and (honorable mention). He was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and the media, becoming MSU's third first-team All-Big Ten cornerback under head coach Mark Dantonio. Waynes was one of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) and was the defensive recipient of MSU's Jim Adams Award (unsung hero).

College statistics

Season Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds
2012 Michigan State 9 1 5 2 3 0.5 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 Michigan State 14 14 50 35 15 2.0 5 3 11 3.7 11 0 0 1 0
2014 Michigan State 12 12 46 34 12 1.5 8 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0
Totals 35 27 101 71 30 4.0 13 6 11 1.8 11 0 0 2 0

Professional career

Following his junior season, Waynes entered the 2015 NFL Draft.[14][15] Waynes was considered one of the top cornerbacks of the 2015 class, together with Marcus Peters. In most mock drafts, he was projected to be a top 10 pick. Waynes shined at the 2015 NFL Combine, where he posted the top 40-yard dash time among defensive backs and the second fastest overall (4.31 seconds); that time placed him tied for seventh-fastest among cornerbacks at the combine since 2003. He also finished tied for fourth on the bench press with 19 reps. At his Pro Day, he re-tried the 20-yard shuttle and responded with a 4.18 time.

External video
video icon Waynes' NFL Combine workout
video icon Waynes gets drafted by Minnesota
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0+18 in
(1.83 m)
186 lb
(84 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
8+14 in
(0.21 m)
4.31 s 1.53 s 2.55 s 4.18 s 7.06 s 38 in
(0.97 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
19 reps
All values from NFL Combine, 20-yard shuttle from Pro Day[16][17]

Minnesota Vikings


The Minnesota Vikings selected Waynes in the first round (11th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes was the first cornerback drafted in 2015 and became the Minnesota Vikings' highest drafted cornerback in franchise history, surpassing 1994 first round pick (18th overall) Dewayne Washington.[18]

On May 7, 2015, the Minnesota Vikings signed Waynes to a fully guaranteed four-year, $12.94 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $7.67 million.[19]

Throughout training camp, Waynes competed against Captain Munnerlyn, Terence Newman, and Josh Robinson to be a starting cornerback.[20] Head coach Mike Zimmer named Waynes the fourth cornerback on the depth chart to begin the regular season, behind Xavier Rhodes, Terence Newman, and Captain Munnerlyn.[21]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Minnesota Vikings’ season-opening 20–3 loss at the San Francisco 49ers. In Week 9, he recorded four solo tackles and made a season-high two pass deflections during a 21–18 win against the St. Louis Rams. Waynes was inactive for the Vikings’ Week 12 loss at the Atlanta Falcons due to an ankle injury.[22] On December 10, 2015, Waynes earned his first career start as a nickelback after Terence Newman was moved to safety due to multiple injuries. Waynes finished the 23–20 loss at the Arizona Cardinals with a season-high five solo tackles and one pass deflection.[23] Waynes finished his rookie season in 2015 with 30 combined tackles (26 solo) and four pass deflections in 15 games and one start.[24] According to Pioneer Press Vikings beat reporter Chris Tomasson, Waynes was the least-used rookie of Minnesota’s 18 first-round picks since 2000, except linebacker Chad Greenway, who missed his 2006 rookie season due to a knee injury.

The Minnesota Vikings finished first in the NFC North with an 11–5 record and earned a playoff berth. On January 10, 2016, Waynes appeared in his first career playoff game and recorded three combined tackles, made two pass deflections, and an interception as the Vikings lost 10–9 to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wildcard Game. Waynes was thrust into a pivotal pass defense role during the second half after veteran cornerback Terence Newman suffered an ankle injury. On the Seahawks' first series of the third quarter, quarterback Russell Wilson promptly targeted Waynes and attempted a deep pass to rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett, but it was broken up by Waynes. Five plays later on a fourth-and-three situation, Waynes intercepted Wilson at the Vikings' 22-yard line after the ball was tipped by a Seahawks' tight end.


During training camp, Waynes competed to be a starting cornerback against Terence Newman, Captain Munnerlyn, and rookie Mackensie Alexander.[25] Head coach Mike Zimmer named Waynes the third cornerback on the depth chart to start the regular season, behind Xavier Rhodes and Terence Newman.[26]

Waynes was inserted as the No. 1 cornerback for the first two regular season games after Xavier Rhodes sustained a hamstring injury during pre-game warmups against the Titans.[27] He started in the Minnesota Vikings’ season-opener at the Tennessee Titans and collected a season-high ten solo tackles during their 25–16 victory. The following week, Waynes was moved to nickelback and replaced at outside cornerback by Mackensie Alexander after drawing consecutive penalties in the third quarter and struggling to cover wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Waynes finished the Vikings’ 17–14 win against the Green Bay Packers with four solo tackles, one pass deflection, and an interception. His interception off a pass by Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the first interception in U.S. Bank Stadium.[28] On December 11, 2016, Waynes recorded one tackle and broke up a pass before exiting in the third quarter of the Vikings’ 25–16 win at the Jacksonville Jaguars due to a concussion.[29] The following week, Waynes remained in concussion protocol and was inactive for their Week 15 loss against the Indianapolis Colts.[30] In Week 17, he recorded two solo tackles, made a season-high three pass deflections, and made one interception during a 38-10 victory against the Chicago Bears.[31] He finished the season with 50 combined tackles (42 solo), 11 pass deflections, and three interceptions in 15 games and eight starts.[24]


Waynes entered training camp slated as a starting cornerback. Head coach Mike Zimmer retained Waynes and Xavier Rhodes as the starting cornerback tandem to begin the regular season.[32][33] He started in the Minnesota Vikings’ season-opener against the New Orleans Saints and collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (nine solo) during a 29–19 victory. On December 23, 2017, Waynes recorded three solo tackles, made a pass deflection, and made his first career sack during a 16–0 win at the Green Bay Packers in Week 16. Waynes sacked Packers’ quarterback Brett Hundley for a four-yard loss in the third quarter.[34] Waynes started in all 16 games in 2017 and recorded 65 combined tackles (57 solo), 11 pass deflections, two interceptions, and one sack.[24] Waynes received an overall grade of 79.1 from Pro Football Focus in 2017. His grade was ranked 52nd among all qualifying cornerbacks in 2017.[35]

The Minnesota Vikings finished the season first in the NFC North with a 13–3 record and earned a first round bye. On January 14, 2018, Waynes started his first career playoff game and recorded four solo tackles and broke up one pass during a 29–24 win against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round. The following week, he made three combined tackles and broke up a pass as the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs after a 38–7 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.[36]


On April 30, 2018, the Minnesota Vikings exercised the fifth-year, $9.06 million option on Waynes' rookie contract.[37] Defensive coordinator George Edwards retained Waynes and Xavier Rhodes as the starting cornerback tandem entering training camp. Head coach Mike Zimmer officially named Waynes and Rhodes the starters to begin the regular season, alongside safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo.[38]

Waynes was inactive for the Vikings’ Week 5 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles after spraining his ankle the previous week.[39] In Week 7, Waynes recorded three combined tackles, made a career-high four pass deflections, and intercepted a pass by Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold during a 37–17 win at the New York Jets.[40]


Waynes in a game against the Washington Redskins
Waynes in a game against the Washington Redskins

In week 7 against the Detroit Lions, Waynes recorded his first interception of the season off Matthew Stafford in the 42-30 win.[41]

Cincinnati Bengals

On March 27, 2020, Waynes signed a three-year, $42 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[42][43] On September 7, 2020, he was placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.[44] He was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 6, 2020,[45] and activated from the list back to injured reserve on November 18.[46]

After missing the first three games with a hamstring injury, he made his Bengals debut in Week 4 of the 2021 season. He started the next two games before re-injuring the hamstring injury in Week 5. He was placed on injured reserve on October 12.[47] He was activated on December 18.[48]

On March 21, 2022, Waynes was released by the Bengals.[49]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds
2015 MIN 15 1 30 26 4 0.0 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 MIN 15 8 50 42 8 0.0 11 3 4 1.3 4 0 0 0 0
2017 MIN 16 16 65 57 8 1.0 11 2 21 10.5 18 0 0 0 0
2018 MIN 14 14 44 34 10 0.0 8 1 24 24.0 24 0 0 0 0
2019 MIN 14 14 58 56 2 0.0 8 1 0 0.0 0 0 2 1 20
Totals[50][51] 74 53 247 215 32 1.0 42 7 49 7.0 24 0 2 1 20


  1. ^ Waynes leading the way for Spartans
  2. ^ Schottey, Michael. "The 2015 NFL Draft's Odd Couple: Melvin Gordon and Trae Waynes". Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Michigan State commit Trae Waynes suffers season-ending leg injury".
  4. ^ "MSUSPARTANS.COM :: Trae Waynes Bio :: Michigan State University Official Athletic Site Michigan State University Official Athletic Site :: Football".
  5. ^ "WIAA D1, D2, & D3 Track & Field State Championships - Track & Field Meet".
  6. ^ "SEC Outdoor Conference - Track & Field Meet".
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Trae Waynes - Football Recruiting - Player Profiles - ESPN".
  9. ^ "".
  10. ^ "With track genes and a physical edge, Michigan State's Trae Waynes moves to all-important boundary corner". September 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Trae Waynes is channeling his inner-Darqueze Dennard this season".
  12. ^ "Michigan State's Trae Waynes is Spartans' latest standout CB".
  13. ^ "MSU's Trae Waynes out to join elite family". May 2014.
  14. ^ "MSU junior CB Trae Waynes leaving for NFL".
  15. ^ "Michigan State CB Trae Waynes intends to enter 2015 NFL Draft".
  16. ^ "*Trae Waynes - Michigan State, CB : 2015 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile".
  17. ^ "Trae Waynes Stats, News and Video - CB".
  18. ^ "Minnesota Vikings Select Michigan State CB Trae Waynes". April 30, 2015. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017.
  19. ^ " Trae Waynes contract". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Captain Munnerlyn likes the pick of Trae Waynes and is ready for competition". April 30, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  21. ^ Belisle, Austin (September 5, 2015). "Minnesota Vikings Cut 22 Players, Finalize 53-Man Roster". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Polacek, Scott (November 28, 2015). "Trae Waynes Injury: Updates on Vikings CB's Ankle and Return". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  23. ^ "NFL Player stats: Trae Waynes (2015)". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: Trae Waynes (career)". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  25. ^ Erwin, Austin (June 29, 2016). "Minnesota Vikings Roster Overview: The secondary". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  26. ^ " Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart: 10/01/2016". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  27. ^ "Injured Vikings Xavier Rhodes, Sharrif Floyd will not play Sunday vs. Packers". September 16, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "Picked on early, Trae Waynes' interception seals win late for Vikings - 1500 ESPN Twin Cities". September 19, 2016.
  29. ^ Polacek, Scott (December 11, 2016). "Trae Waynes Injury: Updates on Vikings CB's Concussion and Return". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  30. ^ Gates, Christopher (December 16, 2016). "Indianapolis Colts vs Minnesota Vikings: Final Injury Reports For Both Teams". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  31. ^ "NFL Player stats: Trae Waynes (2016)". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  32. ^ "Vikings release first depth chart of 2017". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  33. ^ " Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  34. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers - December 23rd, 2017". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  35. ^ Borman, Sean (January 11, 2018). "The 2017 Pro Football Focus Grades of Every Minnesota Viking". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "NFL Player stats: Trae Waynes (2017)". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  37. ^ Smith, Eric (April 30, 2018). "Vikings Exercise Fifth-Year Option on CB Trae Waynes". Archived from the original on May 27, 2018.
  38. ^ "Vikings release first official depth chart for the 2018 season". September 4, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  39. ^ "Vikings' Trae Waynes: Suffers ankle injury". September 28, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "NFL Player stats: Trae Waynes (2018)". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  41. ^ "Cousins has 4 TD passes as Vikings surge past Lions 42-30". October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  42. ^ "Bengals Announce Agreements With Eight Unrestricted Free Agents". April 8, 2020.
  43. ^ Williams, Charean (March 17, 2020). "Bengals agree to terms on three-year, $42 million deal with Trae Waynes". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  44. ^ "Bengals Re-Sign McTyer, Place Waynes on Reserve/Injured". September 7, 2020.
  45. ^ Roling, Clint (November 7, 2020). "Bengals send Trae Waynes, Fred Johnson to Reserve/COVID-19 list". Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  46. ^ "Bengals' Trae Waynes: Cleared from COVID list". November 18, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  47. ^ "Trae Waynes To Reserve/Injured List, Sign Two To The Practice Squad". October 12, 2021.
  48. ^ "Bengals Make Roster Moves Ahead Of Week 15 At Denver". December 18, 2021.
  49. ^ "Bengals Roster Moves". March 21, 2022.
  50. ^ "Trae Waynes Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  51. ^ "Trae Waynes Stats". Retrieved March 13, 2020.