There is no reason for the KC Chiefs to re-sign Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins #14 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Sammy Watkins #14 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

There has been a lot of chatter recently about whether the KC Chiefs should bring back wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

At first, I thought it was a funny joke. Someone made a funny and thought “the Kansas City Chiefs are low in cap room, they should use what little room they have to get a limited production, often injured receiver,” type of joke.

Apparently, I was wrong. It wasn’t a joke and it’s actually a serious discussion point.

It shouldn’t be.

Watkins, fans have enjoyed your time here and your fun tweets, but it’s time for the player and the organization to go their separate ways. The main point of this narrative, Spotrac calculates Sammy Watkins’ per year contract value at $10.5 million.

I’m going to use data here in the next paragraph to help illustrate my point. The information comes from Pro Football Reference and Spotrac.

I will compare a few free-agent wide receivers, their stats, and production compared to what Spotrac calculates (they are often very close on these numbers) the free-agent players’ value to be. I will use cumulative numbers from the past three seasons.  I evaluated other receivers, all of whom are free agents this offseason as well.

They are:

  • Nelson Agholor
  • Corey Davis
  • Willie Sneed
  • Marvin Jones
  • Allen Robinson
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Will Fuller
  • Kendrick Bourne

NOTE – The stat 1D is the number of receptions that resulted in a first down.

       Age:          Games :               Yards:         Catches:          YPC:            1D:           TD’s:             PFR Score:

A)      30                   38                   2265               173            13.09          120              23                        18

B)      26                   45                   2546               173            14.31          129              11                        23

C)      26                   29                   2052               134             15.31           86              15                         17

D)      27                   45                   3151               255             12.36          172             17                        26

E)      26                    47                   1512               121            12.50            88             11                         13

F)      25                   48                    1346              102             13.20           73                 8                         11

G)      27                   43                   1995                151             13.21          85               15                        17

H)     28                   45                     1422              126             11.29          82               9                          16

Let us Calculate the Averages:

AVG:                        42.5              2027.38         154.38         13.16         104.38        13.63                 17.63

Now, we take a look at Sammy Watkins’ data:

SW)  28                  34                   1613               129               12.50          87                8                       17

Simply, just by looking at the numbers, Watkins is below the average at every measurement. However, look at how similar Watkins stats are to Free Agent Wide Receiver E. We are going to circle back to this. But first, we take a look at the difference (percentage) of the stats.

-20%                  -20%                 -16%             -5%              -17%            -41%                    -4%

There are some numbers that jump out, specifically the level at which he is below averages both in yards and catches as well as touchdowns. Also, as we expected, his games played number is well below the average as well.

For a quick reveal, let’s start first with the receiver, of this group, that he compares closest to and that’s wide receiver E. And who is wide receiver E? None other than San Francisco 49ers receiver, Kendrick Bourne.

A full run down of players:

More from Chiefs Free Agency

A) Marvin Jones, Lions

B) Corey Davis, Titans

C) Will Fuller, Texans

D) Allen Robinson, Bears

E) Kendrick Bourne, 49ers

F) Josh Reynolds, Rams

G) Nelson Agholor, Raiders

H) Willie Snead, Ravens

The KC Chiefs are better off not re-signing Sammy Watkins.

We can conclude, quite clearly that Watkins’ name is greater than his play, and by a wide margin. Watkins doesn’t produce at the level of the other players and his reputation is far greater than what he actually does.

If the Chiefs are wanting to spend big in free agency, do they go all-in on Allen Robinson selling him on playing with a quarterback for the first time in his career, for a winner?

Maybe a Corey Davis, whose market value is similar to Watkins (projected at $9.8 million) but is younger, and despite playing in a run-first offense, has put up more yards and more catches than Watkins. While Davis is not likely to become a star, he is a former first-round pick, a very capable second receiver who may also welcome being a receiver in a pass-first offense.

Maybe the Chiefs opt for value, and a player like Kendrick Bourne would make sense. He is basically Sammy Watkins but likely at a fraction of the price.

And I know what you are saying, Bourne put up similar numbers to Watkins, but it took him more games to do so. To which I would point out, paying a player that won’t be on the field is negative. If Bourne can get on the field (again, remember, San Francisco has had quarterback issues every year except for 2019 when they went to the Super Bowl) with a consistent quarterback, can he produce a great value for the Chiefs?

If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to spend money on a receiver, any money, there are options, (different options, better options, at any price point) than Sammy Watkins.

Next. Three Players to Trade for and Two to Trade Away. dark

It’s time for the Chiefs to turn the page of the former Clemson receiver, and provide the opportunity for someone else to get paid catching passes from Patrick Mahomes.