Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson can certainly use more help on the outside. Moments ago, the team reportedly added a pretty big-name veteran wide receiver, former Kansas City Chief Sammy Watkins.
Watkins, a two-time All-American at Clemson, was the No. 4 pick by the Buffalo Bills. He hasn’t quite panned out to the level that Buffalo had hoped, but he’s a useful player who can blow up for the occasional big game, when healthy.
He’s certainly worth a flyer for the Ravens, who edged out teams including the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans, all of whom were reportedly interested. The team has leaned on Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and tight end Mark Andrews as its main receiving threats. Watkins probably isn’t the WR1 that the team could really use, but if he stays on the field, he could be a significant contributor for the Ravens.
According to Ian Rapoport, he is receiving a one year deal worth $6 million, with $5 million guaranteed. It is very much a prove-it deal with Sammy Watkins, and a nice value for the Ravens, as they look to bounce back by a somewhat disappointing 2020.
The #Ravens are signing free agent WR Sammy Watkins and giving him a 1-year deal worth $6M — with $5M fully guaranteed, source said. Watkins lands and Baltimore has its weapon.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2021
Availability has been perhaps Watkins’ biggest issue. He hasn’t played all 16 games since his rookie year, when he had his career high 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. His second year in Buffalo was his best—60/1,047/9—despite missing three games. He’s played in 70 of 96 total regular season games since his rookie year in 2014, and made just 10 appearances last season for the Chiefs, going for 37/421/2 on the year.
He showed a serious flash in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run in 2019-20, catching 14 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown that year. If he can channel that, the Ravens have a real asset on the outside here.
He’ll be 28 next season, so there’s nothing to say that he can’t get things turned around and have some really good years going forward. The Baltimore Ravens hope that this, his fourth NFL stop, will be the start of it.