Just as every new acquisition for the K.C. Chiefs receives some time with reporters in order to give fans a chance to know him better, it’s also often telling when a player speaks to reporters having left the team. That was certainly true when it came to former Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins this week, who made it clear to reporters that he very much appreciated his time in K.C. while simultaneously expressing excitement to be with the Baltimore Ravens.
After flirting with a potential re-signing with the Chiefs, who had expressed interest in bringing him back, Watkins decided to sign with the Ravens this offseason after wrapping up his three-year deal with Kansas City. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal in late March and, when healthy, should give Lamar Jackson a dangerous target to partner with Hollywood Brown. He met with Baltimore reporters on Thursday and told them about his reasons for leaving K.C. and signing in Baltimore.
"“I had my fun there. It was an amazing, amazing time [and] a great organization. I just wanted a new scenery for myself … I had my best times there, and I really enjoyed my time,” Watkins said. “I think my time was up; I just wanted to be somewhere different … You scout around the league like, ‘Where do I fit in?’ Once I took my visit, right away I knew I fit in at the Baltimore Ravens.”"
Watkins spent the last three seasons with the Chiefs after signing with them as general manager Brett Veach’s first major free agent acquisition. Watkins was brought in to excel as a physical pass catcher in the X role in Andy Reid’s offense, and when healthy, he helped the Chiefs click on an offensive level that set historic marks in the NFL.
Watkins’ brightest moments came during the team’s championship run in 2019, their first Super Bowl win 50 seasons. It’s not a coincidence that Watkins was also at his healthiest during that season as well. He had 52 catches for 673 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns that regular season, but in the playoffs, as teams tried to take away Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Watkins made them pay with an incredible 288 yards in 3 games that postseason.
Unfortunately, the script of health concerns kept getting longer during his tenure in K.C. and both his first and last seasons were bookended by his lack of availability. Watkins even missed the majority of this past postseason, save for a few largely meaningless snaps late in the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still Watkins helped give Chiefs Kingdom their first parade in a half-century and he should be remembered fondly—hopefully in the same way he appreciates his time in K.C.