Bills Decline 2018 Option On WR Watkins

03 May, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Brand new motivation for Watkins

Three years ago, the Bills gave up the ninth overall pick in the draft, another first-round pick, and a fourth-round pick to get receiver Sammy Watkins - at a time when they could have stayed put and gotten Odell Beckham Jr.

The former first-round pick will enter 2017 in the previous year of his rookie contract.

Watkins, 23, missed eight games last season because of lingering soreness from a broken left foot that required surgery last offseason.

The Bills could either negotiate a new deal with Watkins during the season or after the season, paying him a market-rate deal that allows the team some flexibility in deciding his salary-cap numbers going forward.

As of now, Sammy Watkins will be a free agent next March.

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On top of that, the Bills recently canned general manager Doug Whaley, the man who spearheaded the decision to trade up in the first round of the 2014 draft to get Watkins. It doesn't, however, prevent the Bills from negotiating a contract extension or placing the franchise tag on Watkins to retain his rights.

Staying healthy has been the one big concern regarding Watkins, who has been hampered by an assortment of injuries during his three seasons with the Bills.

Declining the option, however does not mean that Watkins and the Bills will necessarily split at the end of the upcoming season. "There is no question Sammy is a very good football player and has worked very hard during his rehab this offseason".

He has 153 catches for 2,359 yards and 17 touchdowns in 37 career games.

"Sammy and I have had good conversations about this decision", McDermott said. The tag would net the wideout more cash in one year than the fifth-year option. If Watkins does have another injury-shortened season where he is unable to produce on the field, then they can let the young receiver walk into free agency and save a few million dollars.

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