‘I’m back, KC’: Sammy Watkins and Chiefs reportedly reach deal

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 12: Sammy Watkins #14 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball against the Houston Texans during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs and wide receiver Sammy Watkins have reportedly reached a deal.

“I’m back KC LETS GET IT..! #RUNITBACKTOUR” Watkins tweeted at 6:22 a.m. Friday.

Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports is reporting Watkins and the Chiefs agreed to a one-year, $9 million deal with incentives that could earn him $16 million. 

The deal frees up $5 million in salary cap space for the Chiefs, Paylor added. 

Watkins, who is just 26, was the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the Chiefs have been busy making lots of roster moves on their quest to defend their world champion title. 

The team is also poised to make Mahomes the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback.

During the off season they have signed veteran offensive lineman Mike Remmers to provide depth across the board; brought in journeyman cornerback Antonio Hamilton to compete for a starting role; and signed XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu to add another voice in that room.

The Chiefs also place the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones and signed wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to a one-year deal as well.

With the Chiefs unsure when they will be allowed back in their facility, and the NFL uncertain when or if practices will be allowed this summer, the value of players who already know the system grows exponentially. That is why franchising Jones was a wise move despite the hefty financial hit, and why the Chiefs brought back Robinson.

“Absolutely. As many guys as you can keep, you’d love to do that,” Reid previously told reporters. “The other part is Veach has to sit there and juggle the salary cap and do all that. But logic tells you, as many guys as you can keep that are familiar with what you’re doing, either side of the ball or special teams-wise, you’d like to do that. But there’s a whole lot of variables that go into it, and that’s something Brett and his crew, they do all that stuff.”

To be sure, the Chiefs still have plenty of holes on the roster. The most pressing may be at cornerback, where Kendall Fuller signed elsewhere and Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne are still floating around in free agency. But there is also need for help along the defensive line and at running back, where Damien Williams has been prone to injury.

The Chiefs hope they can fill some of those holes through the draft, even though it will take place without the benefit of bringing anybody in for workouts, and with only digital meetings for face-to-face interviews.

“We’re making it work,” Reid said. “I’m glad I coached at San Francisco State because we had to work through a lot of things there. It was Division II, non-scholarship. Not everything was easy there. To film practice we had a guy climb up a ladder. We had guys picking up rocks on a dirt field to have practice. Those experiences help when everything isn’t quite perfect.”

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