Coach Bill Belichick called it a mutual decision.
"Obviously, Reggie's time here was brief, but it only confirmed what I already thought -- he is a true professional who represents every positive attribute a player should emulate. Our parting was mutually agreed upon and I am personally grateful to have worked with one of the great NFL players of the past two decades."
Wayne asked for his release from the team and the Patriots granted it, sources had told ESPN. He would be willing to sign with another team but only in the right situation, a source said.
Wayne's one-year contract with the Patriots had a maximum value of $2.8 million and included a $450,000 signing bonus. The 36-year-old said he picked the Patriots over other options for one primary reason: "I just want to win, point-blank."
"The only thing I can do is let my work speak for itself," Wayne said Aug. 25 when asked how much he had to offer. "I know what I can do. I know what I can bring to the table. ... Whoever the naysayers are, just watch me work."
Wayne also seemed upbeat after Thursday's preseason finale.
"I'm still trying to find my swag, but I'm starting to catch on," he said.
Asked whether he felt like he would be up to speed on Sept. 10 for the season opener, Wayne said, "I don't have a choice. It's going to be here regardless if I'm ready or not."
Wayne played the first 14 seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, who decided not to re-sign him in 2015. The six-time Pro Bowler has 14,345 career receiving yards with 82 touchdowns as a primary target of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.
The Patriots are also likely to be without wide receiver Brandon LaFell for the first part of the season.
LaFell has been placed on the physically unable to perform list, a source told ESPN's Field Yates. LaFell will be eligible to play in Week 7.
Running back Jonas Gray joined Wayne as one of 11 players the Patriots released Saturday.
Rosters had to be cut to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET Saturday.
Information from ESPN's Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter was used in this report.