Sammy Watkins reportedly expected to sign 3-year, $48M deal with the Chiefs

Author: Will Brinson, CBS Sports
FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) looks on from the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The Kansas City Chiefs are really trying to take the top off of the offense next year and made the second big free agency splash at wide receiver in Andy Reid’s tenure by agreeing to a deal with wideout Sammy Watkins according to reports.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news, with NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reporting the deal is expected to be worth a whopping $48 million over three years.

Watkins was initially drafted by the Bills fourth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, in a questionable deal that cost Buffalo two first-round picks with a trade up, but was traded last offseason to the Rams for a second-round pick.

The Rams decision not to franchise tag Watkins, instead tagging LaMarcus Joynerwas a pretty obvious one, considering Watkins was the second most productive former Buffalo Bills wideout on the Rams last year (behind Robert Woods), which is not a great title to have.

However, Watkins is an elite talent and is just 24 years old. He was going to get paid in free agency and it was also possible he would take a shorter deal with a young quarterback in order to set himself up for free agency again at the age of 27.

And he’s a fantastic fit for the Chiefs, who now have a bunch of field stretchers on their versatile offense. Kansas City agreed to trade Alex Smith to the Redskins this offseason, opening up the starting quarterback spot for Patrick Mahomes.

The big armed second-year quarterback out of Texas Tech will now have Watkins, the speedy Tyreek Hill and the lethal Travis Kelce at his disposal, along with Kareem Huntout of the backfield.

With Reid’s complex blend of college and pro schemes, the Chiefs have unlimited upside offensively.

It is not the first time Reid’s dabbled in free agency and/or spent big when it comes to wideouts either. During his first season in Kansas City, the Chiefs signed Dwayne Bowe to a big deal, enabling them to use the franchise tag on Branden Albert at the last minute.

Two years later the Chiefs would snag Reid’s old pal Jeremy Maclin when he became a free agent, inking the former Eagles wideout to a $55 million deal, only to cut him two years later.

Watkins has only produced one 1,000-yard season as a pro, but, again, he is just 24 and will be hitting his prime in an offense that’s been very friendly to wide receivers while also being coupled with a strong-armed quarterback who set to make his full-time debut in Reid’s offense this year.

The AFC West might be more wide open than we’ve seen it in a while, but the Chiefs are not engaging in some rebuild this offseason. They’re loading up for a new quarterback to start.

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