Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins is under contract through the 2020 season. But he said Thursday that if he wins a title on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, he may consider taking a year off, per Adam Teicher of ESPN:
"If it suits me and my family and [meets] my needs, for sure. But I'm really in a different space right now. I don't know what I'm going to do. If we win it, 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. I don't know. I don't want to say I'm going to do something, but you never know. I might want to go somewhere else and create another Super Bowl team. So it's just all about how I'm feeling. I've got to sit down with my family, my parents and grandparents and everybody and just see what I want to do."
While Watkins is under contract for next season, he doesn't have any guaranteed money, since the Chiefs have an out in the deal, per Spotrac.com. They would absorb $7 million in dead cap space, however.
If they don't exercise that out, Watkins would have a base salary of $13.7 million and a workout bonus of $250,000. That may be a bit rich for a player who had a so-so season in 2019, and the Chiefs may not be interested in long-term extension talks, considering they'll be negotiating extensions with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, among others, in upcoming years.
Watkins had an up-and-down season in 2019, catching 52 passes for 673 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games. Those numbers don't exactly jump off the page—especially when you consider that he had nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 alone—but Watkins showed off his talent in the AFC Championship, lighting up the Tennessee Titans to the tune of seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Still, that inconsistency could hurt his long-term value, especially in Kansas City, where Mahomes is likely to negotiate the most lucrative contract in NFL history, given the success he's already had in his young career. Watkins acknowledged as much late in the regular season, per Teicher, when asked if he believed he would be with the Chiefs in 2020:
"Possibly not if we win the Super Bowl and we've got to pay Pat $300 million and then you've got to pay Kelce and other guys, too. So you never know. But I definitely love it here. My family loves it here. If we keep winning here, I'm willing to stay anywhere. I want to stay here. I don't want to go to another team and lose. I think I'd retire if I get back to losing games."
So Watkins may seriously be considering taking a year off. It's also possible he's looking to dissuade the Chiefs from keeping him but trading him to get assets in return. As a free agent, Watkins could choose his own situation. In a trade, however, he'd lose that power. Putting it out publicly that he may take next season off could make teams wary of dealing for him, giving him some leverage.