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Sammy Watkins Rumors: Ravens Eye Contract as Chiefs WR Visits Colts

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)
Doug Murray/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens reportedly have interest in signing free-agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins after visiting with him.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Ravens had a "good visit" with Watkins and would like to sign him, but he is visiting with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday.

Watkins, 27, has spent the past three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs after previous stints as a member of the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams.

During his time in Kansas City, Watkins played in two Super Bowls, winning one. While he was usually no higher than the third option in the passing game behind wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, he played an important role.

His regular-season numbers were fairly modest, averaging 43 receptions for nearly 538 yards and less than three touchdowns per season in KC, but he played his best in the biggest moments.

During the Chiefs' run to a Super Bowl win in 2019, Watkins caught 14 passes for 288 yards and one touchdown in three playoff games, which ensured he would forever be appreciated by Chiefs fans.

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Watkins' best statistical seasons came in Buffalo after the Bills took him fourth overall out of Clemson in 2014. He recorded 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and followed that up with his best season in 2015, catching 60 balls for 1,047 yards and nine scores.

While Watkins hasn't come close to the 1,000-yard mark in a season since then, there are plenty of reasons to believe he could be a good fit in Baltimore.

For starters, the Ravens are in desperate need of a No. 2 option at wide receiver across from Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and in support of tight end Mark Andrews.

Compared to the 2019 season when he was named NFL MVP, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was not as productive as a passer in 2020, throwing for about 400 fewer yards, 10 fewer touchdowns and three more interceptions.

A big reason for that may have been the fact that no one beyond Brown and Andrews truly emerged as a reliable target.

Baltimore's third-leading pass-catcher last season was Willie Snead, who finished with just 33 catches for 432 yards and three touchdowns, which are similar to Watkins numbers last season (37 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns), although Watkins missed six games because of injury.

Snead is a free agent, as is Dez Bryant, while neither Miles Boykin nor Devin Duvernay have emerged as worthy No. 2 wideouts in the NFL.

Watkins has played that role and done it fairly well during his career, and he would give Jackson the type of down-field threat he didn't have last season aside from Brown.

The Colts are a team to watch when it comes to Watkins since T.Y. Hilton is a free agent and may not be back in Indy, meaning there will be a need for a veteran presence in the wide receiver room to support the likes of Michael Pittman Jr., Parris Campbell and Zach Pascal.

Watkins may not be the go-to guy the Bills hoped they were drafting back in 2014, but he is a talented veteran capable of putting up some big games on occasion when opposing defenses don't make stopping him a top priority.

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