"We gotta get paid more I'm pretty sure 2014 class will change the market," Watkins tweeted Sunday.
Heading into his fourth NFL season, Watkins will hit unrestricted free agency next offseason. The Bills declined his fifth-year player option on his rookie contract in May.
Watkins will have to see a major uptick in performance next season if he hopes to change any type of financial market. He recorded 28 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns in 2016, missing half of the campaign due to injury.
The former Clemson standout has been oft-injured and inconsistent during each of his three NFL seasons. He's yet to record more than 1,047 yards receiving or catch more than 65 passes. While the Bills have had issues at quarterback, Watkins has not been the star playmaker the team hoped.
Watkins is also recovering from surgery on his foot that's expected to keep him off the field until at least training camp. However, quarterback Tyrod Taylor told Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News he likes what he sees from the receiver:
"I would say just his maturation process has definitely sped up. He's older in the league. He knows what it takes. He knows where he wants to get and he's working toward that. Even down to eating right and putting the right things in his body. You can just tell his attention to detail each day has definitely been different than years past that I've been around him.
"He's always been a hard worker, but you can definitely tell he's out there with the right mindset and with a positive attitude trying to help the guys that are around him as well as questioning the quarterbacks and just trying to pick our brains. Just trying to get as much of the playbook down now in the learning process so when he comes back he can come out and react to it at full speed."
As for Watkins' assertion that players need to be paid more, well that's probably not going to happen. Guarantees may continue seeing an uptick relative to their predecessors, but the actual money given to players on a yearly basis will not change significantly.
The league's collective bargaining agreement guaranteed players receive a certain percentage of league revenue. No draft class of players is going to change that.