Sammy Watkins has had an inconsistent role in a vastly improved Los Angeles Rams offense this year, and the star wide receiver could be growing a little frustrated over it.
After he drew four targets and did not catch a pass in a 16-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Watkins had an interesting reply on Twitter when ex-NFL receiver Torry Holt called attention to Sammy’s recent slump.
Watkins sent several more tweets indicating he is staying positive and knows he will be more productive going forward, so this is nothing like when he ripped the Buffalo Bills for not getting him enough looks a couple years back. On Monday, Rams head coach Sean McVay said Watkins’ opportunities will come.
“We’ll continue to try and find ways to get the ball in Sammy’s hands,” McVay said, via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “These last couple weeks I don’t believe are indicative of his production for the rest of the season.”
McVay added that he spoke with Watkins and believes the two had a good conversation.
“Sammy’s a player that, he wants to be involved,” he said. “You never know when your opportunity is going to come, but let’s just make sure that snap in and snap out, you continue to compete and contribute to the best of your ability.
“Sometimes when you don’t get your number targeted it can be a little bit misleading. And that’s what I appreciate about Sammy is, I think he took [the conversation] the right way and expect him to respond the right way.”
Watkins probably thought his tweets were innocent enough, and there wasn’t a whole lot to them. If anything, the timing was interesting given how he recently expressed regret over demanding more targets when he was with the Bills. Frustration after a loss is understandable, but Watkins needs to learn to keep his personal concerns in-house.
H/T Pro Football Talk
A week after he enjoyed a breakout game with six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Sammy Watkins drew just two targets in a win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. Unlike two years ago, he now understands that the final score is all that matters.
During the 2015 season, Watkins infamously declared that the Buffalo Bills were making him look bad by not getting him the ball enough. While speaking with reporters this week, Watkins expressed regret over once demanding at least 10 targets a game.
“Two years ago, it would’ve probably been different,” he said, via Nick Veronica of the Buffalo News. “I would’ve probably gone to the media and been saying whatever, trying to get the coach’s attention. That’s how I used to do it back then. Like, ‘I need more targets.’ Then that comes to the coach, and me and him have to talk.
“I felt like I was consumed, and I was angry. It was affecting my relationships with the coaches and with the players. I wanted to be great so bad, but I was also selfish, too. Because there were some games that we won and I didn’t get the ball, and I was upset. I looked at both sides of it, like, yeah, it is a point where you want to be great, but you also have to understand what we have on this team.”
Watkins seems fully healthy for the first time in a while, and we can expect more big games from his this season with the Rams’ offense finally clicking under new head coach Sean McVay. But Watkins understands there are a lot of mouths to feed.
“I have to just be honest with myself: There’s a lot of guys who are really good in this wide-receiver room,” he said. “Not just wide receivers, but you have the tight ends, you have a running back who needs his touches, and there’s a lot of guys who can do just about the same that I can do. When you have as much potential in one room, I have to be honest and say I’m not going to get 20 targets like an Odell Beckham or a Julio Jones or these other guys.
“But I’ll take winning games over making myself feel good.”
Expectations surrounding Watkins were astronomical after the Bills took him with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. That’s probably why he was frustrated that he wasn’t being treated as one of the best receivers in the game, and he even took it out on the fans at one point. Kudos to the 24-year-old for acknowledging his mistakes.
Two Los Angeles Rams wide receivers were evaluated for concussions towards the end of the team’s Thursday night victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Both Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin were evaluated for a concussion during the fourth quarter. Watkins first left the game to be evaluated. That seemed to come after he was hit in the head while fighting for a touchdown that put the Rams up 41-26.
Austin appeared to get hurt a little later in the fourth quarter and was evaluated.
Watkins had a true breakout game for the Rams. He had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns — his first scores since joining the Rams. Austin had three rushes for 14 yards. He also fumbled away a punt return for the second time this season.
The Rams have begun taking measures in an effort to ensure their new offensive weapon is on the field as much as possible.
Last week, the Rams sent cornerback E.J Gaines and a draft pick to the Bills for Sammy Watkins and a draft pick. Watkins has shown the ability to be a game-changing receiver during his three years in the league. However, he has also had two surgical procedures on his foot. Last year Watkins broke a bone in his foot, which required a screw to be inserted. Another procedure was performed in January.
Watkins has indicated during training camp he is now healthy, which is obviously great news. The Rams want to make sure he stays that way and are planning to meet with Nike to develop a shoe designed to help Watkins, according to what the team’s GM told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday.
“The shoe thing is a very big deal,” Rams GM Les Snead told Brady Quinn and Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “There’s a lot of technology, a lot of smart engineers developing shoes for these athletes, especially based on the type of torque and pressure they’re putting on their bones when you go in and out of a break.”
Last season, Watkins was limited to just eight games. In 13 games in 2015, Watkins caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Rams had one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL last year with Case Keenum and rookie Jared Goff taking the majority of the snaps. If Watkins can stay healthy and put together a productive season, it will bode well for the Rams and potentially Watkins as well, who could hit the free agent market after this season.
The Buffalo Bills announced two major moves on Friday, both involving wide receivers and cornerbacks.
First the team announced that they have traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick.
After losing a wide receiver and adding a cornerback in the Watkins deal, the Bills did the opposite in another trade. They traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick.
The trades confirm the Bills’ disappointment with Watkins. A former No. 4 overall pick, Watkins has been bothered by multiple foot injuries during his career, though he has been productive when healthy. Matthews was a second-round pick by Philly in 2014 — the same draft class as Watkins. He has been on the field more frequently than Watkins, while also being productive (he has scored 19 touchdowns in 46 games).
The Bills found some stability when they added veteran receiver Anquan Boldin to the mix, and they probably feel Watkins is not worth the gamble if they can have Matthews and Boldin in the offense. Defensively they are giving up Darby for Gaines. Gaines has had injury troubles and is a question mark as he played 11 games last season.
The Bills’ secondary has no doubt gotten worse between the loss of Stephon Gilmore in free agency and Darby now, but at least they have picked up two draft picks for next season. You have to respect their recent maneuvering.
And the Rams, which lacked major offensive weapons, finally have one in Watkins, so long as he can stay on the field.
Things continue to stay the same for Sammy Watkins.
The Buffalo Bills wide receiver left the team’s practice on Sunday to be examined by a trainer after coming up hobbled following a route he ran.
Here he was leaving with a trainer:
Watkins later returned to the field but was not participating in 11-on-11 drills.
A former No. 4 overall pick, Watkins is talented but has been hampered by foot and other injuries throughout his career. He played in 13 games in 2015 and just 8 last season. He underwent left foot surgery in January.
The Bills declined to pick up Watkins’ fifth-year option because they’ve been concerned about his injury history.
Sammy Watkins has been hampered by a foot injury for well over a year now, but the Buffalo Bills wide receiver is expected to put those woes behind him when training camp begins.
According to Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News, Watkins’ rehab has been on schedule and he should be “close to 100 percent” when veterans report to training camp on Thursday.
The Bills chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins’ rookie contract, so the former Clemson star is set to become a free agent after the season. As head coach Sean McDermott alluded to, that decision had everything to do with the receiver’s health.
“Sammy and I have had good conversations about this decision,” McDermott said. “There is no question that Sammy is a very good football player and has worked very hard during his rehab this offseason. We look forward to seeing a healthy Sammy Watkins on the field in 2017.”
Buffalo is expected to host free agent receiver Anquan Boldin for a visit on Monday, and the team could have Boldin in mind as potential insurance for Watkins. There’s no denying that Watkins is an incredible playmaker when healthy, but staying on the field has been a huge issue for him. He’s undergone two foot surgeries since April 2016.
Before long, all 32 NFL teams will officially be reporting to training camp in preparation for the 2017 regular season. It will be the beginning of a quest for Super Bowl LII, and everyone should legitimately feel like they have a chance.
That extends to the players — both rookies and veterans — who will be trying to earn a job or secure a starting position.
It’s easy to point out highly-drafted rookies or fringe players who need to perform well in training camp, but what about players of prominence? Whether they’re coming off injury, switching positions, or just looking to rebound from a poor 2016 season, here are 10 players with the most to prove in training camp.
10. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills
After three injury-prone seasons, the Buffalo Bills opted not to pick up Sammy Watkins’ fifth-year option. That undoubtedly came as an unexpected blow to the talented youngster, but the reasons why are obvious.
The Bills have to be kicking themselves over selecting Watkins ahead of Odell Beckham Jr. in the 2014 NFL Draft, but what’s done is done. Now it becomes a prove-it year for Watkins, who would not only like to prove to the Bills they made the correct choice, but show the rest of the NFL he could be a worthwhile investment in 2018.
There’s no denying Watkins’ talent. Anyone who lays eyes on him can see the athleticism and skill he possesses, but after missing 11 games in three seasons, there are legitimate injury concerns.
Even on the field, there have been lapses in Watkins’ play. Needless to say, he needs to come out strong in both training camp and the preseason, and then carry that over into the regular season.
9. Ereck Flowers, OT, New York Giants
The Buffalo Bills are not going to pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ rookie deal.
With the deadline to exercise the option coming up on Wednesday, the team announced that it has decided against paying Watkins roughly $8.5 million for the 2018 season.
While Watkins had a nagging foot problem that limited him to just eight games last season, the decision is somewhat of a surprise. He is capable of making big plays when healthy, and $8.5 million seems like a reasonable salary for a receiver of his caliber.
That said, it could be that the Bills don’t trust Watkins to remain healthy. The issue with the fifth-year option on a first-round pick’s rookie deal is that it is guaranteed for injury, so Buffalo would be stuck paying Watkins even if the foot remains a problem. The latest update we heard about Watkins’ health a few months back did not sound all that promising.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins had a second foot surgery late last week.
The team announced Friday that Watkins, who had a first surgery last spring, underwent an operation that should have him ready in time for training camp.
Watkins was pretty much never healthy from day one last season, and even when he got back on the field, the lingering soreness after his first surgery returned late in the year. He managed only eight games in 2016, catching 28 passes for 430 yards and only two touchdowns. The hope is addressing the situation now will get Watkins fully healthy in time for 2017.