The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to sign free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Chiefs reportedly came to an agreement with Watkins late Monday night. The two sides had reached an agreement, the three-year deal is worth $48 million, with $30 million guaranteed.
Watkins, 24, was the fourth-overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2014 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Bills before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams last August.
Watkins caught 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns on the Rams last season. Watkins’ best output came in 2015, when he had 1,047 yards with the Bills.
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n Kansas City, Watkins will serve as another important target for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the team’s presumptive starter following the Alex Smith trade earlier this offseason.
The Rams decision not to franchise tag Watkins, instead tagging LaMarcus Joyner was a pretty obvious one, considering Watkins was the second most productive former Buffalo Bills wideout on the Rams last year (behind Robert Woods), which is not a great title to have.
However, Watkins is an elite talent and is just 24 years old. He was going to get paid in free agency and it was also possible he would take a shorter deal with a young quarterback in order to set himself up for free agency again at the age of 27.
Watkins has only produced one 1,000-yard season as a pro, but, again, he is just 24 and will be hitting his prime in an offense that’s been very friendly to wide receivers while also being coupled with a strong-armed quarterback who set to make his full-time debut in Reid’s offense this year.
The AFC West might be more wide open than we’ve seen it in a while, but the Chiefs are not engaging in some rebuild this offseason. They’re loading up for a new quarterback to start.