Induction Year: 2018
Wayne, a New Orleans native and John Ehret High School product, teamed with another New Orleans native, Manning, to become one of the NFL’s most productive wide receivers, especially when it came to finding the end zone. The 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Colts, Wayne had 82 touchdown catches in his career, 69 of them from Manning from 2001-10.
Wayne was a six-time Pro Bowl pick (making it five years in a row from 2006-10) and an AP first-team All-Pro selection. For his 14-year pro career, all with Indianapolis, he caught 1,070 passes for 14,345 yards (13.4 average) and 82 TDs despite sharing the ball for his first eight seasons with Pro Football Hall of Fame wideout Marvin Harrison. Going into the 2017 season, Wayne ranked 10th in NFL history in receptions and receiving yards after ranking seventh in catches and eighth in yards when he retired after the 2014 season.
Wayne, who played in two Super Bowls (winning against the Chicago Bears and losing to the Saints in 2009), started 197 of 211 regular-season games. He caught at least 75 passes nine seasons in a row (2004-12) and had at least 100 receptions four times (104 in 2007, 100 in ’09, a career-high 111 in ’10 and 106 in ’12 at the age of 34). Wayne had at least 1,000 receiving yards in eight of 14 years in the league with career-high 1,510 in 2007 and topped the 1,300-yard mark four times.
He had a career-best 12 TD catches in 2004 and recorded 10 in 2007 and 2009. Wayne added 93 catches for 1,254 yards and nine TDs in 21 career playoff games, catching a 53-yarder for the Colts first score in a 29-17 win over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI in Miami, where he attended college. He caught 173 passes for 2,510 yards and 20 TDs in four seasons with the Hurricanes, where he was college teammates with 2017 LSHOF inductee Ed Reed.