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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Articles tagged: Sammy Watkins

Jarvis Landry dismisses Sammy Watkins’ tweet

Jarvis Landry

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is staying above the trash talk ahead of his team’s playoff game against Kansas City on Sunday.

Landry was asked Thursday about Sammy Watkins’ tweet but declined to get into things.

Watkins, who is in his third season with the Chiefs, downplayed how much of a challenge the Browns would present for them in the playoffs.

Just like Landry, Baker Mayfield didn’t publicly take issue with things.

The Browns are taking smart approaches. Rather than try to motivate the Chiefs with some trash talk in response, they’re wisely staying away. There is no reason to give the No. 1 team in the NFL any more motivation ahead of a playoff game.

Baker Mayfield responds to bulletin board material from Sammy Watkins

Baker Mayfield

Another Cleveland Browns opponent is being dismissive of the team’s chances in the AFC Divisional round, but Baker Mayfield isn’t adding fuel to the fire.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins recently posted a dismissive comment about the Browns, questioning whether they qualified as competition for their upcoming game.

Mayfield shrugged off the tweet when asked about it on Wednesday, saying it displayed the confidence necessary to succeed in the NFL.

“I have no problem with it, to be honest with you. Because if you don’t have confidence, you’re not going to have success,” Mayfield told the media. “And those guys have been doing it together for a few years now. They have a ton of confidence in each other. People get mad when you put it out there, it’s bulletin board material, but I don’t have a problem with it. It comes with the nature of this game. You’ve got to be confident. You’ve got to know and believe in yourself.”

Mayfield is conciliatory here, but one has to wonder if the same attitude is being taken in private. It certainly wasn’t last week. The Browns seem to enjoy feeding off this sort of thing, so while Mayfield won’t publicly add fuel to the fire, he’s probably taken note of it privately.

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Sammy Watkins offers refreshing thoughts on taking pay cut

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins agreed to a restructured contract with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason that could amount to a pay cut, and the wide receiver remains totally at peace with the decision.

With Patrick Mahomes signing a 10-year contract extension this week that could be worth over $500 million, Watkins was asked during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio about his decision to take potentially less money. He said he’d rather make less with the Chiefs than put up big numbers for a team that is out of contention.

“How much money do I need? My family’s taken care of well,” Watkins said, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “Do I want to go to a team and lose and get 1,000 yards with a team that’s sorry. Or do I want to come back with one of the best coaches, the best quarterbacks, the best organization, the best team, the best wideout group — arguably — and come try to fight for another championship.”

Watkins was originally supposed to make around $14 million in 2020, but he agreed to a restructured deal that includes a base salary of $9 million with $7 million in incentives. He could potentially make more if he meets the incentives, but the guarantee is lower. The 27-year-old also received a no-trade clause from the Chiefs.

While his 52 catches, 673 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season were not exactly No. 1 wideout numbers, Watkins played a huge role in the playoffs. He caught 14 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown during Kansas City’s Super Bowl run. Now, he has an opportunity to put up big numbers heading into free agency, and his chances of doing that in arguably the best offense in the NFL are pretty strong. It’s nice that Watkins is prioritizing winning another title, but the situation is also an excellent one for him personally.

5 NFL players in a contract year who need to step up

AJ Green

Most NFL players reach the point in their career where they’re seeking a long-term contract, but things simply aren’t working out. Sometimes that situation course corrects, and sometimes it doesn’t.

However, consistent quality play will often pave the way for those players — especially during a contract year. And as we head into 2020, these five players find themselves in that exact situation. Now they’ll need to step up.

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Sammy Watkins agrees to restructured contract with Chiefs

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins said during the playoffs last season that he might consider taking a year off from football in 2020 if the Kansas City Chiefs ended up winning the Super Bowl, but the wide receiver is going to keep playing.

Watkins told Chiefs fans he is “back” in a tweet on Friday morning, and he confirmed a report from Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports that he has agreed to a restructured contract with the team. The 26-year-old was set to make a base salary of about $14 million next season, but that number has been lowered to $9 million with $7 million in additional incentives. Watkins also got a no-trade clause from Kansas City, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The move frees up salary cap space for the Chiefs and gives Watkins the opportunity to earn more money if he hits the incentives. Watkins’ cap hit was originally scheduled to be a whopping $21 million, so you can understand why the restructure was a priority for Kansas City.

Watkins had 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns last season. He also played a big role in the postseason with 14 catches for 288 and a touchdown, but he did not produce like an elite receiver who deserves to occupy that much of the salary cap. The new deal should work out for both sides.

Sammy Watkins likely to take pay cut with Chiefs?

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins has threatened to sit out next season, but one Chiefs reporter believes the wide receiver will end up taking a pay cut with Kansas City.

Watkins said in late January that he might sit out the season if the Chiefs ended up winning the Super Bowl, which they did.

“Not retiring, but I might just want to rest up and chill. I don’t know. I don’t want to say I’m going to do something, but you never know. I might want to go somewhere else and create another Super Bowl team. So it’s just all about how I’m feeling. I’ve got to sit down with my family, my parents and grandparents and everybody and just see what I want to do,” Watkins said on January 30.

The former No. 4 pick is entering the final season of a 3-year, $48 million deal he signed with Kansas City two years ago. He is set to make $14 million in 2020 with a $21 million cap hit. He can be cut this offseason for $7 million in dead cap money.

Nate Taylor, who covers the Chiefs for The Athletic, said on Sports Radio 810’s “Almost Entirely Sports” Wednesday that he thinks Watkins will take a pay cut to return to the Chiefs.

Chiefs GM Brett Veach indicated this week that the two sides would talk about a pay cut.

Watkins had 52 catches 673 yards and three touchdowns last season. He was big in the postseason with 14 catches for 288 and a touchdown, but he’s not dominating like someone who deserves $14 million.

Several key Chiefs players late to stadium week after equipment fiasco

Andy Reid

The Kansas City Chiefs dealt with an unusual situation with their equipment before their game against the New England Patriots last week, and on Sunday it was the players who were late to the stadium.

A week after the Chiefs needed a police escort to get their equipment to Gillette Stadium on time, several key players — including LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins — were reportedly late to arrive at Arrowhead Stadium. It was snowing pretty heavily prior to game time, so that was likely a factor.

Kansas City gets over an average of a foot of snow per year, so Chiefs players should be prepared to deal with it. Patrick Mahomes was on the field chatting with Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Luck well before kickoff.

Last week, Kansas City’s equipment was somehow sent to New Jersey instead of Foxboro. A police escort was needed to help the Chiefs avoid having to forfeit, and they went on to beat the Patriots. They’ll be hoping tardy players yield the same results as tardy equipment on Sunday.

Watch: Sammy Watkins, Stephon Gilmore get into sideline scrap

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins and Stephon Gilmore got into a scrap on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs-New England Patriots game.

The Chiefs had a first down from their 18 up 23-16 on the Patriots and decided to run an option. Patrick Mahomes pitched to Tyreek Hill, who rushed for a short gain. Watkins was down field blocking Gilmore, and the two kept going at it on the sidelines.

No penalty was called on the play even though their scrap seemed extracurricular.

The two used to be teammates on the Buffalo Bills and went to rival colleges — Clemson for Watkins, and South Carolina for Gilmore.

Chiefs could hold Sammy Watkins out until playoffs with foot injury

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins has a history of foot injuries and has been battling one yet again for several weeks, and the latest could keep him out for the remainder of the regular season.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Watkins tried to practice on Thursday but was still experiencing discomfort in his foot. With the Chiefs a virtual lock for the playoffs and already having lost star running back Kareem Hunt, they may opt to play it safe with Watkins by holding him out.

Watkins first appeared to hurt his foot when he limped off the field in a game against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 4.  An MRI revealed no structural damage and he ended up returning briefly two weeks later, but he has been out since.

Watkins underwent foot surgery when he was with the Buffalo Bills, though the procedure was on his right foot and the most recent injury appeared to be to his left. Still, the lingering soreness is a major concern considering his history. The Chiefs have one of the most explosive offenses in football, but they are suddenly losing playmakers at an alarming rate.

Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins misses practice again with foot injury

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins’ status for Monday night’s big game against the Los Angeles Rams is in question.

Watkins hurt his foot in Kansas City’s win over the Browns two weeks ago and missed the team’s win over Arizona last week.

Watkins practiced for the Chiefs on Thursday, but he did not practice on Friday or Saturday. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid says Watkins is “making progress” but they are taking things day by day with him.

Watkins is one of the big playmakers in the Chiefs’ offense. He can be a boom-or-bust type and sometimes blow up for big games, like his 107-yard, 2-touchdown effort against Denver, or his 2-catch, 18-yard performance against the Patriots two weeks earlier.

Kansas City would like to have all of its best weapons available for the big clash.