Free agent WR Sammy Watkins to sign for Kansas City Chiefs
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 13/03/18 1:03pm
Free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins has agreed a deal to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to multiple reports.
The deal is understood to be worth $48m with $30m guaranteed. Watkins' average salary of $16m per year makes him the NFL's third highest paid wide receiver behind Antonio Brown ($17m) and Mike Evans ($16.5m), who signed a five-year extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news on Tuesday morning, with NFL insider Ian Rapoport confirming it soon after.
When free agency opens Wednesday, former Rams’ WR Sammy Watkins intends to sign with the KC Chiefs, source tells ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
The signing cannot be made official until free agency opens at 9pm (GMT) on Wednesday.
The arrival of Watkins will mean another potent weapon for second-year Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will take over as the starter in Kansas City this season following the trade of Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins.
Last season running back Kareem Hunt (1,782 total yards, 11 touchdowns), tight end Travis Kelce (1,038 yards, eight touchdowns) and wide receiver Tyreek Hill (1,183 yards, seven touchdowns) were all named to the Pro Bowl.
Watkins, 24, spent last season with the Los Angeles Rams, catching 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 regular-season games.
His best season came in 2015 for the Buffalo Bills, who drafted him with the fourth overall pick in 2014, when he caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns.
Later on Tuesday, the Chiefs agreed to a deal to sign former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens. That deal was first reported by Rapaport and is understood to be worth $9m annually.
Kansas City is in the market for linebacker help after parting ways with the team's all-time leading tackler Derrick Johnson, who had 1,262 tackles, 27.5 sacks and 14 interceptions during a 13-year career with the Chiefs.