Kansas City Chiefs hoping to keep wide receiver Sammy Watkins
Watkins had five catches for 98 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV
Last Updated: 05/02/20 11:01am
The Kansas City Chiefs hope to keep wide receiver Sammy Watkins in 2020, despite speculation about his possible departure, NFL Network reported Tuesday.
Watkins' salary cap hit climbs next season to $21m (£16m) - the highest of any NFL wideout - in the final year of a three-year, $48m (£37m) deal he signed in free agency in March 2018.
The Chiefs, who currently have about $19m (£15m) in cap space, could free up $14m (£11m) by releasing or trading Watkins.
But according to the report, the Chiefs hope to bring back Watkins, potentially with a contract extension or adjustment.
Watkins was asked before the Super Bowl about possibly renegotiating his contract, and he replied by suggesting he might not play at all in 2020.
"If it suits me and my family and my needs, for sure," he told reporters. "But I'm really in a different space right now. I don't know what I'm going to do.
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"If we win, I might chill out. I might sit out a year. You just never know. Not retiring, but I might just want to rest up and chill."
After the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 on Sunday, Watkins elaborated Tuesday on Sirius XM Radio, saying he plans to play in 2020 but hopes to take better care of his body, perhaps skipping voluntary offseason workouts.
"I'm not really focused on the money aspect of it," Watkins said. "I'm really focused on my health, mental health."
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Although he has played six NFL seasons, Watkins is just 26, but his production has been sporadic in Kansas City.
He had 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns in 14 regular-season games in 2019, but a huge chunk -- nine catches, 198 yards and all three touchdowns -- came in Week 1. Watkins had 40 catches for 519 yards and three scores in 10 games in 2018.
In the playoffs, however, Watkins has made a larger impact. He had 10 catches for 176 yards in two games last season and then piled up 14 grabs for 288 yards and a touchdown during this year's run to the Super Bowl title.
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Kansas City rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 and win their first Super Bowl title for 50 years in Miami.
That included five catches for 98 yards in Super Bowl LIV, with a 38-yard reception setting up the go-ahead touchdown.
Selected by the Bills with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Watkins spent three years in Buffalo before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams, for whom he played one season.