Clemson football: Sammy Watkins to the Chiefs


NFL free agent receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to sign with Kansas City on Wednesday. 

Watkins, a former Clemson football receiver, became a free agent after a one-year stint with the Los Angeles Rams where the former No. 4 overall pick(2014) had 39 catches, 593 yards and eight touchdowns.

As reported by Ian Rapoport, NFL Network Insider, the Chiefs will sign Watkins, 24, to a three-year deal worth over $48 million at maturation. He cannot sign until after 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday per NFL rules, and he will receive a $30 million(guaranteed) signing bonus.

Before news of his deal surfaced, he was one of the top players available in the free agent market and seriously pursued by the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and the Rams were trying to re-sign him.

Watkins has dealt with injuries throughout his four years but still has shown the explosiveness that teams covet. He averaged 15.2 yards per catch last season and 15.9 over his career.

New Franchise, Same Old Story

With the Rams, he had an inexperienced quarterback in Jared Goff, the first overall pick in 2016, and he will face the identical situation in Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes, the 10th pick in 2017, has one start and like Goff, he will also be in his second year in the NFL.

Last year, Alex Smith(traded to the Washington Redskins) led the Chiefs(10-6) to a first place finish in the AFC West and the Rams(11-5) won the NFC West–both teams were first round losers in the playoffs.

According to Rapoport, the Chiefs hope Watkins can be a deep threat for Mahomes, “…..the Chiefs wanted to make sure that Patrick Mahomes, their star quarterback, who they believe in heavily, has weapons. They wanted someone that he could throw deep to, and they believe they have that in Sammy Watkins.”

Next: Reasonable Expectations for Clemson in the NCAA Tournament

In 2015, Watkins’ best season, he was a serious deep threat with a 17.5 average per catch. That year, he had 60 catches, 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns.