Watkins, who is slated to count $21 million against the Chiefs' salary cap this coming season, is a candidate to have his deal restructured, Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star reports.
To that end, GM Brett Veach indicated Tuesday that the team plans to meet with the wideout's agent this week to discuss his existing contract. Per Veach, Watkins is a player the Chiefs wish to retain, but given the terms of the third and final year of his deal with the team, some sort of restructuring is clearly in order to make that a reality. Watkins' regular season line (52/673/3 through 14 games) wasn't special, but the 26-year-old was a key cog in both the AFC Championship game and Super Bowl LIV, producing 12 catches for 212 yards and a TD over those two Kansas City wins.
Watkins confirmed that he plans to play football in 2020, but he acknowledged that his future with the Chiefs is uncertain, SiriusXM NFL Radio reports. "I need some down time," Watkins said. "I'm gonna talk to coach Reid about it. I don't control the contracts, or the trade, or if they're gonna give me a better contract."
Watkins said he's focused on his physical health, mental health and family, perhaps hinting that he could miss a portion of the offseason program to focus on more important aspects of life. It isn't entirely clear that it would be the Chiefs' offseason program rather than another team's, as Watkins is scheduled for a non-guaranteed $14 million base salary in the final season of a three-year contract. It's a hefty price for someone who averaged 4.2 targets over the final six games of the 2019 regular season, but a fair price for a guy with 464 receiving yards in his five playoff games for the Chiefs. A contract extension that lowers his 2020 cap hit might work for both parties, with Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reporting that the Chiefs are hopeful they can find a way to retain Watkins.
The Chiefs hope to retain Watkins for 2020, though his $14 million salary could make it difficult, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
The Chiefs will absorb a $7 million cap hit if Watkins is traded or released, compared to $21 million if he's retained under the current terms of his contract. The two sides could discuss a pay cut or an extension to lower his 2020 cap charge, with the latter presumably a more attractive option for the 26-year-old wide receiver. Watkins recently said he enjoys playing for the Chiefs, even though he's turned in modest averages of 6.0 targets and 49.7 receiving yards in 24 regular-season games with the team. He's been much more productive in five playoff appearances, however, averaging 4.8 catches for 92.8 yards on 6.8 targets, including a 5-98-0 receiving line in the Super Bowl LIV win over San Francisco. Prior to the game, Watkins said he would consider different options for the 2020 campaign, even mentioning that he could sit out for a season, though it wasn't clear if he was being serious. Fellow wideout Demarcus Robinson can become an unrestricted free agent in March, while 21-year-old Mecole Hardman should be ready for a larger role in his second pro season.
Watkins secured five of six targets for 98 yards during the Chiefs' 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.
Watkins was behind only to teammate Tyreek Hill in receiving yardage for the night, with the veteran wideout making several key catches throughout the contest. None was bigger than a 38-yard grab on 2nd-and-7 from the 49ers' 48 yard-line on the Chiefs' go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter, a play that was followed by Damien Williams' five-yard touchdown grab one minute later. Watkins finished the regular season with a 52-673-3 line through 14 games, with his reception tally qualifying as his highest since 2015. The 26-year-old is signed through next season, but he'd carry a cap hit of $21 million that is likely to force a restructure or even potential parting of the ways.
Watkins suggested Thursday that he's considering different options with regard to the 2020 NFL season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The wideout is under contract with the Chiefs through next season and his options include playing through the deal, renegotiating it, or in Watkins' words, "if we win (Sunday's Super Bowl), I might chill out. I might sit out a year. You just never know." With that in mind, the 2014 first-rounder remains poised to play in big role in his team's offense this weekend, on the heels of catching seven of his 10 targets for 114 yards and a TD in Kansas City's win over the Titans in the AFC Championship Game, back on Jan. 19.
Watkins caught seven of 10 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 35-24 win over the Titans in the AFC Championship Game.
Watkins led the Chiefs in targets, catches and receiving yards as he finished averaging a healthy 16.3 yards per catch. The majority of his production came on a beautiful 60-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach in the third quarter. Watkins has been excellent in two postseason games, totaling 204 scrimmage yards on 10 touches to help his team reach the Super Bowl. He's not guaranteed to show up with big production against the 49ers or the Packers, but he could certainly make an impact if the opponent focuses on taking away the team's other key weapons.
Watkins caught both of his targets for 76 receiving yards and ran for 14 yards on his only rush attempt during Sunday's 51-31 divisional-round win against the Texans.
The 2014 No. 4 overall draft choice made some notable contributions during his fourth career postseason appearance Sunday, corralling Patrick Mahomes passes of 48 and 28 yards as Kansas City punished Houston's defense for jumping offside in each instance. When also taking into account his 14-yard rush, the explosive Watkins accounted for 30 scrimmage yards per touch against the Texans after picking up just 10.3 yards per play Weeks 5 through 17. Though liable to break off an enormous gain any time he touches the ball, Watkins has commanded just 3.3 targets per game since Week 15 and has yet to reach the end zone since scoring three times in the season opener against Jacksonville.
Watkins caught one of two targets for eight yards during Sunday's 31-21 win over the Chargers.
Watkins' two targets marked a season low during a peculiar game in which the Chiefs didn't really get going through the air, but benefited from a long kick return TD and a healthy running game. Despite a monster opener and more targets than he'd had since 2015, Watkins set a career low at 12.9 yards per catch and managed three or fewer touchdowns for the third time in his last four seasons. All three of his touchdowns came in Week 1. After the Chiefs' first-round bye comes a matchup against the Patriots, Texans or Bills. Watkins caught four of eight passes for 50 yards in Week 14's showdown with New England.
Watkins caught two passes (five targets) for 28 yards in Sunday's 26-3 win over the Bears.
The Chiefs were leaning heavily on a West Coast passing scheme, only attempting one pass of more than 20 yards. This led to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill -- who are superior route runners -- getting a lot more of Patrick Mahomes' attention as opposed to a pure deep threat like Watkins. The 26-year-old hasn't posted many big receiving lines since his monstrous 198-yard, three-touchdown performance back in Week 1, so he should be limited to deep-league value heading into a tough matchup against the Chargers on Sunday.
Watkins snared just three of his four targets for 49 yards Sunday against the Broncos.
Watkins continues to turn in lackluster fantasy outings, notching a combined seven receptions for 99 yards over the last three weeks. He also hasn't scored a touchdown since his three-score explosion in Week 1 and there's nothing to suggest he's due for a breakout game. With a stingy Chicago defense on deck, owners may consider benching him for better options.
Watkins hauled in four of his eight targets for 50 yards Sunday against the Patriots.
After a silent Week 13 versus the Raiders, Watkins took the field for 91 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday. The workload marked his largest since Week 4 versus the Lions, though he's finished with 100 or more receiving yards in only the opener against Jacksonville. Next up is a Broncos defense surrendering only 215.9 passing yards per game.
Watkins failed to reel in any of his three targets during Sunday's game against the Raiders.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed just 15 passes on the day overall, with 10 of those going to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, so Watkins' minor production isn't a huge shock. What's more concerning is the fact that Watkins has seen a combined six targets between the last two contests. Things don't get any easier next week with New England on the schedule.
Coach Andy Reid said that Watkins (illness) will play Sunday against the Raiders, Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star reports.
Watkins popped up on the Chiefs' injury report after an illness prevented him from practicing Thursday, but he was back on the field Friday for the team's final session of Week 13. The wideout's activity was apparently enough for Reid to give him the green light to play this weekend, and it's not expected that Watkins will face any limitations with his snap count as a result of the ailment. Since returning from a two-game absence in Week 8, Watkins has played in the Chiefs' last four contests but hasn't reached the end zone while averaging 4.8 catches and 43.3 receiving yards.
Watkins didn't practice Thursday due to an illness, Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star reports.
On a positive note, Watkins' absence isn't related to an injury, but the intensity of his illness is unknown. As a result, his status should be watched closely Friday and perhaps into the weekend to ensure he's available Sunday against the Raiders.
Watkins recorded just two catches for 26 yards on three targets Monday against the Chargers.
Watkins' effort Monday was his worst of the 2019 campaign, even without Tyreek Hill (hamstring) available for most of the contest. The field in Mexico City and a tough Chargers defense likely both played roles in his slow night. Fortunately, Watkins and the passing game should have a great opportunity to get back on track after a Week 12 bye, when they face a Raiders squad the following week currently allowing 262.2 passing yards per game and 8.2 yards per pass attempt.
Watkins caught five of nine targets for 39 yards and added 12 yards on two carries during Sunday's 35-32 loss to the Titans.
Watkins' 7.8 yards per reception represented his most modest output of the season and he's averaging just 10.1 yards per catch with no touchdowns since Week 1's dominant performance. Any receiver who is averaging 9.3 targets per game in a prolific offense like Watkins is warrants consideration each and every week, but -- until he shows that he's more than an underneath target in this iteration of the Andy Reid attack -- fans might want to curb their expectations. A favorable matchup is on deck for next Monday night against a struggling Chargers squad.
Watkins secured seven of 10 targets for 63 yards in the Chiefs' 26-23 win over the Vikings on Sunday.
Watkins co-led the Chiefs in receptions alongside Travis Kelce while checking in behind only fellow wideout Tyreek Hill in receiving yardage. Watkins has 12 receptions over his two games since returning from injury, and Sunday's game marked his third with a double-digit target tally this season. Watkins will look to get back into the end zone for the first time since Week 1 when he faces the Titans on the road Week 10 with Patrick Mahomes (knee) likely back under center for Kansas City.
Watkins reeled in five of his eight targets for 45 yards during Sunday's game against the Packers.
Watkins' stay on the sideline lasted the better part of three games, but the Chiefs' receiving corps is now firing on all cylinders. All that awaits them is the return of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, which could come as soon as next Sunday versus the Vikings. Watkins has turned in mediocre outings across the board since his Week 1 explosion, but perhaps having all of the team's offensive weapons back will benefit him. Watkins logged 86 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, compared to 92-plus percent in each of the first four games, so he may see additional run in his second game back from injury next week.
Coach Andy Reid said Watkins (hamstring) will suit up Sunday night against the Packers, Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star reports.
Watkins got through Week 8 preparations unscathed, practicing in full Wednesday through Friday. Due to his notable injury history, the Chiefs likely wanted him to do as much before clearing him to return. On Sunday, he won't be working with Patrick Mahomes (kneecap), which lowers Watkins' ceiling. Still, Watkins should get in the mix behind top pass catchers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce with Matt Moore under center.
Watkins (hamstring) practiced fully Wednesday.
Barring any setbacks in the coming days, Watkins appears on track to be available for Sunday night's game against the Packers. Assuming he does suit up for the Chiefs' Week 8 contest, the wideout probably will be catching passes from Matt Moore, with top QB Patrick Mahomes recovering from a dislocated patella in his right knee.
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||15||14||39||593||15.2||67||8||9||2||33|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||10||9||40||519||13.0||50||3||7||2||24|
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||14||13||52||673||12.9||68||3||9||2||30|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||15||14||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||10||9||5||52||10.4||31||0||1||2|
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||14||13||2||12||6.0||11||0||0||1|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||15||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||10||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||10||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||14||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|