The deal, which will pay Watkins an average annual salary of $16 million per season, includes $30 million guarantees. That $30 million guaranteed beats out Allen Robinson‘s $25 million guaranteed on his respective three-year deal with the Chicago Bears.
In Kansas City, Watkins will pair with wide receiver Tyreek Hill to form one of the NFL’s speediest receiving duos. Running back Kareem Hunt and tight end Travis Kelce are also going to be back with the team in 2018, looking to have huge years under quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will take over the reigns of starting quarterback from Alex Smith, with his trade to the Washington Redskins becoming official tomorrow.
Watkins, 24, was traded by the Buffalo Bills to the Los Angeles Rams last August, and played 15+ games for just the second time in his four-year career. The former number four overall pick didn’t exactly put up big numbers in Los Angeles, as he only caught 39 of his 70 targets in 2017 for 593 yards and 8 touchdowns. Watkins, however, was apart of one of the best NFL receiving cores that featured Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp.
In the past, Watkins has flashed his potential to be an elite receiver, as he put up 1,047 yards on 60 catches in 2015, and found the end zone nine times that same year as well. He also put up 982 yards his rookie year in the NFL, but has had problems staying healthy over the years due to calf and foot injuries.
Kansas City is hoping that they are able to see the durability and the production come together at the same time for Watkins, as the contract with the team will run through 2020, which is Watkins’ age 26 season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and Carolina Panthers were all said to be interested in Watkins, who was ranked as The Game Day Report’s 14th best free agent this off-season on our official rankings list.
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