It appears the Kanas City Chiefs are going to keep Sammy Watkins after all. The team reportedly signed the receiver to a new contract on Friday that will give the team a bit more cap space.
That space is quite essential considering that, this time last week, the Chiefs were just $177 under the salary cap, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Yahoo! Sports’ senior NFL writer Terez Paylor reported on Twitter that Watkins is taking a pay cut to stick around. The new deal will give the receiver $9 million for the 2020 season, though incentives have been laid out that will eventually pay him $16 million if he should meet them all of them.
With Watkins agreeing to the new contract, the Chiefs have an additional $5 million to operate under the salary cap. Tom Childs of Arrowheadpride reports Watkins contract also includes a no-trade. In other words, his deal was not restructured to make him more attractive to other teams. KC is all-in with the receiver for another year.
As Childs pointed out, the signing is a bit of a surprise because Chiefs coach Andy Reid had been rather coy about Watkins just yesterday.
“Right now, he’s here. That’s the positive part. And we sure like Sammy. He’s done a great job for us. As good a player as he is, he’s even a better person. So we’ve really enjoyed him being here. But other than that, I can’t really lead you on either way, because that’s Brett’s area. I’m honestly not dealing with it.”
Watkins is the second receiver the team has brought back in the last week. They also re-signed Demarcus Robinson to a one year deal. The plan for KC is coming into more precise focus for the rest of the offseason.
The deal for Watkins could also lay the groundwork for keeping Chris Jones for at least the 2020 season. There had been talk that his franchise tag would help the team keep rights to the player only long enough to trade those rights for draft picks.
The Chiefs are said to still be trying to restructure and extend Jones’ contract. Kansas City had earlier talked about wanting to get a new deal in place with Patrick Mahomes. All of that is still potentially in the future. For now, KC fans know Watkins is coming back at the very least. And he’s coming off his arguably best career season.
He caught 52 passes for 673 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season last year, but he really shone in the playoffs. In the AFC Championship, Watkins caught seven passes for 114 yards, and in the Super Bowl, he grabbed five passes for 98 yards, becoming a fan favorite in the process.