Sammy Watkins

Contract Details: Gilmore, Cooks, Nelson, Smith, Bynes, Watkins

Here are some details on deals recently signed around the NFL:

  • Stephon Gilmore, CB (Colts): Two-year, $20MM. The deal includes $10.51MM guaranteed at signing and $14MM in overall guarantees. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Gilmore’s Year 1 payout will total $10.02MM.
  • Brandin Cooks, WR (Texans): Two-year, $39.76MM. The deal includes $36MM guaranteed at signing consisting of the $16MM signing bonus (applied over three years) and the first two years of base salary ($2MM in 2022 and $18MM in 2023), according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. Cooks will have a per game active bonus of $29,411 for a potential season total of $500,000 and will receive a roster bonus in 2024 of $3MM.
  • Steven Nelson, CB (Texans): Two-year, $9MM. The deal is worth up to $10MM, according to Wilson. It includes $4.5MM guaranteed at signing consisting of a $2MM signing bonus, the 2022 base salary of $1.75MM, and $750,000 of the 2023 base salary. Nelson will have a 2022 per game active bonus of $44,117 for a potential season total of $750,000 and a 2023 per game active bonus of $58,832 for a potential season total of $1MM. The deal includes an unspecified incentive worth $250,000 for the 2022 season.
  • Geno Smith, QB (Seahawks): One-year, $3.5MM. The deal is worth up to $7MM, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with up to $3.5MM worth of incentives likely triggerable if he wins the starting job. The deal includes a guaranteed amount of $500,000.
  • Josh Bynes, LB (Ravens): One-year, $1.27MM. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, the deal includes $600,000 of guaranteed money consisting of the signing bonus worth $152,500 and $447,500 of the base salary (worth $1.12MM total).
  • Sammy Watkins, WR (Packers): One-year, $1.85MM. The deal includes a signing bonus of $350,000 and is worth up to $4MM, according to USA Today’s Ryan Wood, with incentives for playtime, catches, yards, and touchdowns. Watkins can earn an extra $150,000, $350,000, or $525,000 if he plays a snap count percentage of 55%, 60%, or 65%, respectively. He can earn an extra $150,000, $350,000, or $525,000 if he records a receptions total of 50, 60, or 70 catches, respectively. He can earn an extra $150,000, $350,000, or $525,000 if he has yardage totals of 550, 650, or 700, respectively. Lastly, Watkins can earn an extra $150,000, $350,000, or $575,000 if he catches 7, 8, or 9 touchdowns, respectively.

Packers To Sign WR Sammy Watkins

1:14PM: Not surprisingly, the two sides have indeed been able to reach an agreement on a deal. Watkins is signing a one-year contract worth up to $4MM (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

1:07PM: One of the teams most in need of wide receiver additions is meeting with one of the top remaining free agents at the position. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (on Twitter) that Sammy Watkins is visiting the Packers today. 

Green Bay has been able to retain most of the key players on their NFC-leading team from 2021. Two of the most notable departures, though, are of course Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-ScantlingThat has left the team in search of multiple replacements for their pass-catching corps; given the current state of the free agent market, many expected the draft to become the Packers’ main area of focus.

Watkins is on a small list of notable veterans still available, though. He, along with Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry and Will Fuller could all be on the move around, or just after, the draft. The Packers would represent Watkins’ fifth career team, as he spent the 2021 campaign with the Ravens after three years in Kansas City. That, in turn, was preceded by a single season with the Rams and three with the Bills. Since his lone 1,000 yard campaign in Buffalo, he has established himself as a consistent secondary option in the passing game.

Green Bay would still have some familiar faces for the former fourth-overall pick. Head coach Matt Lafleur was the Rams’ offensive coordinator during his lone season there in 2017. Likewise, WRs coach Jason Vrable worked with Watkins as an offensive staffer when he was in Buffalo. If he were to sign, the 28-year-old would add experienced depth to the WR room, while leaving the door open to at least one other noteworthy addition, either in free agency or the draft.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates

We are trying our best here at Pro Football Rumors to keep up with all of the updates throughout the league concerning players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. A lot of teams had high hopes during today’s testing as they were trying to get players activated in time for Sunday’s slate of games.

Here are updates as of 8:30 PM ET, Sat 12/18:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Eddie Goldman
  • OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai, STC Chris Tabor in COVID-19 protocols

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB P.J. Locke

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Four Coaches in COVID-19 protocols

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Ravens Activate Bateman, Phillips From IR

Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman will make his NFL debut this weekend in a heavily anticipated matchup between two exciting young QBs in Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert. Head coach John Harbaugh apprised reporters of the news today (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic).

Baltimore activated both Bateman and guard Tyre Phillips from IR Saturday. Phillips has been out since Week 1 due to a knee injury that required cart transportation. He began the season as the Ravens’ starting left guard. This move comes shortly after the Ravens placed rookie fill-in Ben Cleveland, who has split time at left guard with Ben Powers, on IR. Baltimore promoted Le’Veon Bell and tackle Andre Smith from its practice squad as well.

The Ravens have managed a 4-1 record despite a rash of injured stars and key contributors, including their top two RBs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — CB Marcus Peters, LT Ronnie Stanley, and many others besides. Bateman, the 27th-overall pick of this year’s draft, joined the club’s MASH unit after suffering a significant groin pull in training camp that ultimately required surgery. Baltimore put its rookie wideout on IR and designated him for return at the end of September.

The Ravens’ ground game, which was the club’s calling card over the past several years, has been subdued in 2021 thanks in large part to the aforementioned injuries to Dobbins and Edwards (and thanks to opposing defenses gearing up to stop the run). But Jackson has elevated his passing abilities and his receivers have played well, allowing Baltimore to sustain a productive aerial attack, which Bateman should further bolster.

Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly), Bateman’s debut coincides with the loss of fellow wideout Sammy Watkins. Watkins signed a one-year contract with the Ravens this spring, and he had developed a strong rapport with Jackson, catching 18 passes for 292 yards (good for a 16.2 YPR mark, which would be the second-highest figure of his career). Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in Monday’s dramatic win over the Colts, and he has been ruled out for the Chargers game this week (Twitter link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). There is no definitive timetable for Watkins at this point, but it does not sound like the team will put him on IR just yet.

Meanwhile, Baltimore continues to be without TE Nick Boyle. Boyle is an effective ancillary receiving target in his own right, but his primary contribution has been as a blocker. He is regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league, and his return could help the running game get back on track. As with Watkins, there is no definitive return date for Boyle, but Harbaugh said the Delaware product will come off of IR soon (Twitter link via Hensley).

Boyle has been recovering from a severe knee injury he suffered last November, which ended his 2020 season prematurely.

This Date In Transactions History: 2014 NFL Draft

The first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft took place seven years ago today. While there was plenty of hype heading into the first day of the draft, surely no one expected the first round to produce so many accomplished players. Among the 32 individuals who heard their name called on May 8, 2014, 17 of those players eventually earned Pro Bowl nods. That’s not shabby.

From a transactions standpoint, there were five trades completed on that Thursday evening, with the Browns and Vikings starring in a handful of the deals. While there were whispers that the first-overall pick could get traded from Houston, the Texans ultimately kept the selection and drafted Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1.

The first trade of the evening was between the Browns and Bills. Cleveland wanted to move back to select a cornerback, so they sent No. 4 to Buffalo for No. 9, a future first, and a future fourth. The Bills ended up selecting wideout Sammy Watkins. As the first round continued to progress, the Browns apparently didn’t feel comfortable staying at No. 9. So, they packaged that selection and a future fifth-round pick to the Vikings for the No. 8 pick, and they proceeded to select cornerback Justin Gilbert. The Vikings selected linebacker Anthony Barr with their new selection.

The Saints later got into the action, acquiring the No. 20 pick from the Cardinals to select receiver Brandin Cooks. New Orleans sent Arizona No. 27 and No. 91, with the Cards selecting safety Deone Bucannon with that first-round selection.

The Browns made another trade later in the night, this time in pursuit of a quarterback. Cleveland traded No. 26 and No. 83 to Philly in exchange for No.22…and the Browns ultimately selected quarterback Johnny Manziel. Really, the writing was on the wall with that selection; the team had previously drafted two other QB busts (Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn) at that same spot in the draft.

The last trade of the evening once again featured the Vikings. Minnesota acquired the No. 32 pick from the Seahawks for picks No. 40 and No. 108. The Vikings used their new selection on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

It was surely an entertaining evening, with Cleveland serving as the star of the show. However, fast forward to today, and Browns fans are surely still shaking their head at how everything unfolded.

Ravens To Sign WR Sammy Watkins

After making multiple offers to big-name wide receivers, the Ravens will soon have one under contract. Sammy Watkins agreed to terms with the Ravens on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The former Bills, Rams and Chiefs wideout will sign a one-year deal worth $6MM, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com noting (via Twitter) the deal will include $5MM fully guaranteed. This will signal a major shift for Watkins, earnings- and scheme-wise.

Baltimore has been hunting high-profile wideouts for a bit now. The Ravens offered more money to JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton, only to see those players opt to re-sign with the Steelers and Colts, respectively. Kenny Golladay also landed on the Ravens’ radar, but the ex-Lions target received a big-ticket offer from the Giants and committed to New York. The Ravens hosted Watkins on a visit, and the talented but injury-prone pass catcher will head to Baltimore to join an offense in need of aerial help.

Watkins will pair with Marquise Brown on the NFL’s run-heaviest offense. It will certainly represent a change for the former No. 4 overall pick, who operated as the No. 2 receiver on one of the most explosive passing attacks in NFL history. The Chiefs were interested in keeping Watkins, but it did not sound like re-signing him was a must for the two-time reigning AFC champions. Watkins signed a monster accord with the Chiefs in 2018 — a three-year, $48MM deal that affected the NFL’s wideout market — and delivered in spurts, even though he did not end up living up to that lofty contract.

The Chiefs received some crucial Watkins contributions in the playoffs, with the former Clemson star surpassing 75 receiving yards in four of the six postseason games he played with Kansas City. However, Watkins also missed time due to injury in each of his three seasons in Missouri, sitting out 14 regular-season games as a Chief. He missed two playoff games this past season as well and has not topped 700 receiving yards in a season since 2015, when he compiled a career-high 1,047 — in a Bills run-heavy offense featuring Tyrod Taylor.

Still, Watkins is only heading into his age-28 season and will provide a high-end talent for a Ravens offense that has been limited at receiver since Lamar Jackson took the reins in 2018. It should not be ruled out Baltimore will further address the position in the draft, but after the team struck out on acquiring veteran starters, Watkins will lessen the burden on the front office to land a proven receiver.

Sammy Watkins To Visit Colts, Titans And Texans Interested

We heard earlier today that Sammy Watkins was on his way to visit the Ravens, but Baltimore is going to face competition for his services. Watkins will visit the Colts on Wednesday after the Ravens, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Additionally, Schefter reports that Watkins has drawn interest from the Titans and Texans. It’s a sudden flurry of attention for Watkins, who we hadn’t heard much about prior to today. There was reportedly some mutual interest between Watkins and the Chiefs in spending one more year together back in February, but then at the beginning of this month Kansas City GM Brett Veach indicated it’d be hard to work financially.

The Colts make plenty of sense as a destination, since right now it’s very uncertain whether free agent T.Y. Hilton will be back in 2021. Indy has youngsters Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell under contract, but the receiver room could use some help. The Titans just lost Corey Davis to the Jets, and need a new number two behind A.J. Brown.

The Texans just lost Will Fuller, so all of these teams are natural fits. Watkins has never quite lived up to his potential, but if he can stay healthy he can really help a team. He had 37 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns across ten games in a secondary role for the Chiefs last year.

Sammy Watkins To Visit Ravens

The Ravens could be close to making a big addition to their receiving room. Sammy Watkins is on his way to Baltimore to visit with the team, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

We initially heard right before the Super Bowl that there was mutual interest between Watkins and the Chiefs on a new deal, but then a few weeks ago Kansas City GM Brett Veach made it sound like it’d be hard to work financially, and obviously nothing has materialized. Before this, we haven’t heard of much interest in Watkins since free agency opened as the receiver market was slow to develop initially.

Things appear to be picking up though, with Kenny Golladay and Will Fuller both signing in recent days, and Watkins could be the next domino to fall. As Rapoport points out, the Ravens have been looking to add a wideout in free agency as their group of pass-catchers for Lamar Jackson last year was a bit underwhelming.

Meanwhile, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that there are a couple of connections on Baltimore’s staff. Ravens pass game specialist Keith Williams has been Watkins’ personal receivers coach, and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman coached Watkins in Buffalo.

Baltimore reportedly offered JuJu Smith-Schuster more money, but he chose to re-sign with the Steelers instead. The fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft, Watkins has never quite lived up to his potential but he’s capable of being a very solid player when healthy. In a down year in 2020, he had 37 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns across ten games. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything more.