Remember Reggie Wayne in a Patriots uniform? Well, he was with the team for just two weeks and two preseason games before stepping away. Yet Coach Bill Belichick still allowed him to keep his $450,000 signing bonus. Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne only spent two weeks with the Patriots during training camp in 2015, but a notable gesture by Coach Bill Belichick impressed the Hall of Fame finalist at the end of their time together.

Wayne, then 36 and trying to make a comeback from triceps surgery after spending 14 seasons with Indianapolis, retired after less than two weeks with New England. At the end of his stint, the wideout informed Belichick of his decision and offered back the $450,000 signing bonus he had received from the team just weeks earlier.

Belichick let Wayne keep the money.

“I went up to him and I said, ‘Hey, this is what it is. I know got a signing bonus. I’ll give it back, no biggie. Bill Belichick told me to keep it,” Wayne said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, you ain’t got to bend my arm back twice.’ He told me to keep it. And that was love, man. And I always had respect for him. I’ve heard people and seen stuff that he’s done on camera of his respect for me, and maybe that was just his sign of appreciation. We had a lot of battles against that team, so he told me to keep it. We kept it in the bank. I appreciate it. Hey, the best job ever.”

The Colts parted ways with Wayne in March 2015, beginning a free agent venture that would last well into the summer. Wayne said he fended off interest from the Lions and other teams before agreeing to come to New England for workout.

That workout went well enough for the Patriots to sign Wayne, who would make two catches for 24 yards in two preseason games. But as the season approached, Wayne felt tired and missed his family in Florida. He decided to inform Belichick of his decision to leave the team.

“’I don’t want you to do something where you see some potential in somebody as far as a receiver and you use a spot on me instead of them,’” Wayne told Belichick.

Wayne then drove all the way from Foxborough to Miami, reminiscing about his long NFL career and planning his future. He has fond memories of the short time he spent with a coach he had battled against frequently during his time with the Colts.

“Bill Belichick is not what you think,” Wayne said. “I just think he doesn’t like the media. Every day I saw Bill, he was smiling and laughing. He does have teeth. A lot of people don’t think he has teeth. It was a totally different Bill Belichick.”

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