Chiefs Re-Sign Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins is staying put. On Friday morning, the Chiefs reached agreement on a new one-year deal with the veteran wide receiver, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Throughout the offseason, there’s been talk of Watkins either taking a pay cut to stay in KC or walking away from football for at least one season. Watkins went with the former option. Under the terms of his old deal, Watkins was set to earn $14MM – an outsized sum given his role in the Chiefs’ stacked offense. Now, he’ll make $9MM in base salary with the potential to earn another $7MM through incentives, as Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter). Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network lays out most of those incentives, which are as follows (Twitter link):

  • Eight TDs and Chiefs make playoffs: $750K
  • 65 catches + playoffs: $750K
  • 800 yards + playoffs: $750k
  • AFC Championship Game win (50% snaps in game): $1.25MM
  • 65 catches + AFC Championship Game win: $1.25MM
  • 800 yards + AFC Championship Game win: $1.25MM

Those incentives “only” total $6MM, so assuming Paylor’s report is accurate, there is another $1MM incentives to be had, perhaps based on non-playoff-related milestones. If Watkins hits those incentives, he could earn up to $16MM, so in theory, his pay cut could actually wind up as a pay raise. At his best and healthiest in Buffalo, Watkins was a world-class offensive weapon. In KC, Watkins competes for targets with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and other dangerous receivers, which makes it a little trickier to hit statistical markers.

There are two other major pluses to the new deal: it includes a no-trade clause, and it allows Watkins to hit unrestricted free agency next year at the age of 27. If he has a big year, he could cash in on a lucrative multi-year contract with the Chiefs or another club in need of a deep threat. Watkins has hauled in at least 40 catches for 500 receiving yards and three touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He’s also shined in the postseason with an average of 92.8 receiving yards in five playoff games for the Chiefs.

Loaded with talent – especially on Watkins’ side of the ball – the Chiefs have mostly managed to keep the band together. They’ll bring back ten of their eleven offensive starters from the Super Bowl and eight of their nine best receivers, as Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. The Watkins restructure will help them to fortify a little bit. The Chiefs had next-to-zero cap room before the adjustment; they now have $5MM in breathing room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Chiefs Re-Sign Sammy Watkins

  1. Jkolti

    I’m sure I could probably look it up, but how do incentives work with cap?

  2. phillyballers

    Probably pretty realistic thresholds… 1M if he reaches 2000 yards, 1M if he reaches 2500 yards, 1M if he reaches…

  3. tjbarnaba

    “At his best and healthiest in Buffalo, Watkins was a world-class offensive weapon.”

    No, he wasn’t lol he was one of the biggest draft busts in Buffalo history. Do you even watch football or did someone’s dad put you in this position?

    • jjabrony

      Yeah, sorry, im a KC hater and couldnt care less about the Bills, but Watkins was a serious threat his first couple of seasons. The drop-off after that was the disappointing part.

    • myaccount

      World class may be an exaggeration, but Watkins was a big play threat and could take it to the house at any moment. Nearly 1k yards and 6 TD as a rookie and nearly 1100 yards and 9 TD his second season. Maybe not elite numbers but they were damn good.

  4. bac0420

    He was far from a draft bust in Buffalo, in his 3 years he 2400 yards and this is with QB like Tyrod Taylor throwing the ball. So i would say do you even watch football.

  5. Hope Chris Jones is next; he might want to reconsider whatever the Chiefs have offered. One effect of the coronavirus could be that advertisers have less money to spend on commercials, resulting in the NFL getting less money in the upcoming contract starting 2022. Less money to the owners means less money to the players; think about it, Chris.

  6. I don’t think they should have re-signed him. Let him walk and save all that money for the salary cap!! We all know he will get hurt and miss some games!!

  7. crazylarry

    I am a Chiefs fan but I would of let him leave. We have so many receiver weapons we don’t need to pay a 3rd option 9 million. He made 1/3 of his yardage in the opener last year. Great guy but Chiefs have other pressing needs and the draft has tons of less expensive players available.

  8. Tony B

    Attainable numbers for the incentives, though he has never hit them for the Chiefs. And contingent on team success.

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