Sammy Watkins Says He Prioritized Contending over Money with New Chiefs Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Sammy Watkins #14 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts in Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ersat Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Finances weren't Sammy Watkins' sole focus as he pondered his next move this offseason. 

Watkins signed a one-year, $7 million contract to return to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The 27-year-old told SiriusXM NFL Radio (via NFL.com's Kevin Patra) that joining—or staying with—a contending team was his top priority as a free agent:

"But then I realized, how much money do I need? My family's taken care of well. Do I want I go to a team and lose, and get 1,000 yards or go to a team that's sorry, whatever the case may be. Or do I want to come back with one of the best coaches, the best quarterbacks, the best organizations, the best team, the best wideout group -- arguably -- and come try to fight for another championship?"

Watkins added that he'd "rather win another championship than go get another whatever type of crazy extension or crazy contract."

By the numbers, the former Clemson star had a somewhat nondescript year in 2019. He caught 52 passes for 673 yards and three touchdowns.

Barring injury, Watkins will likely be at best the No. 3 option in Kansas City's passing game, and his role in the offense might diminish further with Mecole Hardman entering his second season. The ground attack could get more attention as well with the addition of first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

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Still, nobody can blame him for re-signing with the Chiefs, and likely taking less money than he could've earned elsewhere.

Winning a second straight title won't be easy, but Kansas City's Super Bowl odds are as good as anybody else's in the NFL. Caesars Palace lists the Chiefs at +400 (bet $100 to win $400) to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2020 season. The Baltimore Ravens (+700) and San Francisco 49ers (+750) are the next two closest teams.

Watkins also gets to play with the NFL's best quarterback, who's fresh off agreeing to a 10-year, $450 million contract, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Lining up alongside Patrick Mahomes in pursuit of another ring helps offset whatever Watkins might have lost in potential earnings.