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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Sammy Watkins

Ravens WR calls on Lamar Jackson to play through injury

Lamar Jackson warms up before a game

Dec 4, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson will not be playing in the Baltimore Ravens’ playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, and that news is not sitting well with at least one teammate.

Sammy Watkins was claimed off waivers by the Ravens last month and has 3 catches for 119 yards in 3 games with Baltimore this season. He’s newer in the locker room, so maybe the 29-year-old feels more comfortable talking publicly than some of his other teammates, because Watkins did not hold back about the team’s quarterback situation.

Watkins talked with The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore on Wednesday and called on Jackson to play through a knee injury.

“In this league, everybody is pretty much banged up, hurt,” Watkins told The Post. “I don’t want to speak for him and his situation and whatever he’s going through with the contracts. I don’t know what world he’s in. But for me, you got a chance to do something special. We all know with Lamar Jackson out there, this team is really freaking good, and special things can happen. He can will this team to a Super Bowl. I don’t think he’s thinking about it that way. . . .”

Watkins acknowledged he was being selfish by asking Jackson to play through injury for the Ravens.

“He’s got an opportunity to win a Super Bowl,” Watkins added. “I hope he hobbles back out there. . . . Put him out for the pass plays, and don’t run him at all. But you never know. That could be wrong. I’m being very selfish right now, just to want him to be out on the field. But, man, what a great thing it would be to see 8 touch the field this Sunday, and we go out there and blow them out. But that’s for Lamar and everybody else to figure out. Hope miraculously something happens, somebody reach out to him, whether it’s a coach or somebody, and he decides to play. But that’s a question if he’s healthy or he’s not. I don’t know. I haven’t been watching him.”

Watkins further said that he believes Jackson is not playing because of his contract situation.

“I think the world is ready to see Lamar back on the field, doing what he do best, and get all the stipulations and contract stuff behind him. I pray somebody talks to him like, ‘Man, just sign the deal.’ You know what I mean? And he get out there and hopefully, if . . . he’s healthy, he can just come play this Sunday. We all know that’s up to Lamar and whatever goes on. Hopefully, they get something done. The world wants to see Lamar be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of his life. . . . [T]he world wants to watch Lamar Jackson. That’s a phenom talent, a talent that you rarely come by. Things that he do on the field and things that you see, to be quite honest when he’s out there, he makes everybody play better, just to have him in that huddle. I pray that somebody reach out to him or that he’s really truly getting healthy and can play, that he wake up Thursday and be like, ‘All right, forget it. I’m playing.’ I think that would change the whole trajectory of our season.”

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Jackson originally hurt his knee on December 4. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said at the time that he thought the injury would keep Jackson out for days to weeks. Jackson has not played since then.

Amid questions about his status for the Wild Card playoff game against Cincinnati, Jackson posted on Twitter Thursday about the condition of his knee.

The 26-year-old quarterback is currently playing on his 5th-year contract option, which is for $23 million. He and the Ravens were unable to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension prior to the season, reportedly because Jackson wants a fully-guaranteed contract, which is nearly unprecedented in the NFL. There is a belief that Jackson is being cautious with his knee due to his lack of a long-term contract.

Packers sign one of top available wide receivers

Matt LaFleur stands on the sideline

The Green Bay Packers took a step on Thursday toward addressing their wide receiver needs, as they have agreed to a deal with Sammy Watkins.

Watkins has signed a one-year contract with the Packers, according to Jordan Schultz. The deal is reportedly worth up to $4 million.

Watkins has not been as productive in recent years as many expected him to be. The former No. 4 overall pick spent the 2021 season with the Baltimore Ravens. He caught just 27 passes for 394 yards and a touchdown. Those marks were all career lows, which is likely why Watkins is not generating much interest on the free agent market.

The Packers have a major void at wide receiver after they traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. They also lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who signed a three-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are the top two receivers remaining on their roster.

If Watkins is healthy, the 28-year-old should have an opportunity to carve out a significant role in Green Bay.

Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis. via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Report: Packers host notable free agent wide receiver

Sammy Watkins at a press conference

The Green Bay Packers need to make some moves at the wide receiver position heading into next season, and Sammy Watkins is one player they are taking a look at.

The Packers hosted Watkins for a visit on Thursday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

Watkins has not been as productive in recent years as many expected him to be. The former No. 4 overall pick spent the 2021 season with the Baltimore Ravens. He caught just 27 passes for 394 yards and a touchdown. Those marks were all career lows, which is likely why Watkins is not generating much interest on the free agent market.

The Packers have a major void at wide receiver after they traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. They also lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who signed a three-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are the top two receivers remaining on their roster.

Photo: Jan 27, 2020; Miami, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs player Sammy Watkins during Super Bowl LIV Opening Night at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sammy Watkins has bold take on Ravens’ Super Bowl chances

Sammy Watkins

The Baltimore Ravens are trying to get over the hump and go deep into the playoffs. Sammy Watkins has done that with the Kansas City Chiefs, and he’s bringing that experience with him to Baltimore.

After one day of practice with Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Ravens offense, Watkins said he saw some similarities between what Baltimore is doing and what the Kansas City Chiefs did in terms of being able to win now.

“Honestly, (Baltimore) feels like Kansas City to me; feels like a team that’s ready to win the Super Bowl,” Watkins said, via John Eisenberg of the team’s official website. “A team that’s ready to win and go out there and have fun and put up points. Good defense, good special teams. I’m just happy to be here and be involved with a good organization.”

Watkins would know, having spent the past three seasons with the Chiefs and playing in two Super Bowls with them. He was a key part of that offense too, catching eight touchdown passes in his time with Kansas City. The Ravens will want that to continue.

Watkins will have to build up a rapport with Jackson, who should really be extra motivated in 2021. If the pairing works out, the team could really go places.

Sammy Watkins agrees to one-year contract with Ravens

Sammy Watkins

The Baltimore Ravens have given Lamar Jackson a much-needed weapon on offense.

As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Ravens have agreed to a one-year contract with wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The deal is worth $6 million, with almost all of it fully guaranteed.

Watkins had carved out a solid role in the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-powered offense in recent seasons. Though limited to ten games in 2020, he still caught 37 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. His team-first attitude should play well in the Baltimore locker room as well.

The Ravens struggled for consistent production at the receiver spot in 2020, with Marquise Brown’s 769 receiving yards leading the team. That’s a fairly modest total, even for Baltimore’s Jackson-run offense.

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.