The Super Bowl featured a couple of notable contract year players. One made himself some money yesterday, while the other looks ready to slide back into being more of a part-time type player.
Leonard Fournette was the big winner. He was released by the Jaguars, who figured they’d be better off with rookie James Robinson (and they probably were – Robinson had a great year). Fournette wasn’t much of a factor for the majority of the season but came on nicely in the postseason.
He had key touchdown runs of about 20 yards against both Green Bay and Kansas City. Fournette ran really hard in the Super Bowl game. I think there were 3-4 collision runs where he moved people backwards. On the sideline play in the second half, he reminded me of Ottis Anderson running against Buffalo (has it been 30 years? Wow, the years go by).
I don’t think any teams will be looking to break the bank for Fournette, but he’ll have a market.
Sammy Watkins, on the other hand, has never been able to get his career off the ground. This is a guy who was the 4th pick of the 2014 (selected that year before Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams and all the other wide receivers). Watkins had a few splash games early in his career with the Bills, but he’s been plagued by injuries and hasn’t been notable even when healthy.
Watkins has been particularly non-descript with Kansas City. He’s been starting for three years with the best quarterback in the league yet hasn’t really made much of an impact in any of those seasons.
Watkins in 2018 caught 40 passes for 519 yards and 3 TDs. He missed six games that year, but with Patrick Mahomes throwing 50 touchdowns, you would have thought Watkins might still have caught 8-plus TDs.
In 2019, Tyreek Hill was injured for much of the season but Watkins still wasn’t much of a factor. In 14 games, he caught 52 passes for 673 yards and 3 TDs (all scored in their opening game). Watkins at least played well in the postseason that year, going over 75 yards in all three games.
And Watkins in the just-completed season caught only 37 passes for 421 yards and 2 TDs, again missing six games. He also missed the playoff wins against Cleveland and Buffalo.
In the Super Bowl, Watkins was among the players who came up very small. With Hill constantly double-teamed, Watkins saw nothing but single coverage for the entire game yet caught only 1 pass for 13 yards. Either they weren’t using him properly or he was simply not able to get open. The 13-yard reception was the only ball thrown his way, despite Mahomes attempting 49 passes.
Looking back at the last three years, it’s remarkably modest production. Watkins has averaged 3.8 catches for 47 yards in his 34 games with Kansas City, with only 8 TDs. If we’re supposing PPR scoring, that would rank him 48th among the 66 wide receivers with at least 30 games.
Now he’s hitting the open market. What team is going to be interested in paying more than a couple of million bucks for him? None, I think. I expect Watkins will be landing somewhere the expectation he’ll be a third receiver.
|WIDE RECEIVERS, PER GAME (last 3 years)|
|1.||Davante Adams, G.B.||41||7.5||91.6||.0||.89||22.1|
|2.||Michael Thomas, N.O.||39||8.1||91.5||-.2||.46||19.9|
|3.||Tyreek Hill, K.C.||43||5.4||84.1||6.9||.88||19.8|
|4.||DeAndre Hopkins, Ariz.||47||7.1||88.2||.3||.53||19.1|
|5.||Julio Jones, Atl.||40||6.6||96.1||.2||.43||18.8|
|6.||Stefon Diggs, Buff.||46||6.3||80.1||2.7||.51||17.7|
|7.||Mike Evans, T.B.||45||5.0||81.9||.0||.67||17.2|
|8.||Keenan Allen, LAC||46||6.5||73.6||2.0||.45||16.8|
|9.||Adam Thielen, Min.||41||5.3||66.2||1.2||.75||16.5|
|10.||Robert Woods, LAR||47||5.7||70.0||9.1||.38||15.9|
|11.||Cooper Kupp, LAR||39||5.8||69.3||1.6||.49||15.8|
|12.||Chris Godwin, T.B.||41||5.0||72.3||.2||.58||15.8|
|13.||Calvin Ridley, Atl.||44||4.9||69.6||1.4||.61||15.7|
|14.||A.J. Brown, Ten.||30||4.1||70.9||2.0||.70||15.6|
|15.||Julian Edelman, N.E.||34||5.7||67.1||5.2||.38||15.3|
|16.||Tyler Lockett, Sea.||48||5.0||64.1||1.3||.59||15.1|
|17.||Allen Robinson, Chi.||45||5.7||70.0||.2||.38||15.0|
|18.||Amari Cooper, Dall.||47||5.2||70.4||.9||.43||15.0|
|19.||Odell Beckham, Cle.||35||5.0||68.7||4.4||.42||14.8|
|20.||JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.||44||5.7||63.8||.3||.45||14.8|
|21.||DK Metcalf, Sea.||32||4.4||68.8||.3||.54||14.6|
|22.||Kenny Golladay, Det.||36||4.3||72.0||.2||.50||14.5|
|23.||Tyler Boyd, Cin.||45||5.4||64.8||1.7||.36||14.2|
|24.||Marvin Jones, Det.||38||4.6||59.6||.0||.61||14.1|
|25.||DJ Moore, Car.||40||4.9||74.1||4.7||.23||14.1|
|26.||Jarvis Landry, Cle.||47||5.0||63.6||2.4||.34||13.7|
|27.||T.Y. Hilton, Ind.||39||4.5||64.9||.0||.42||13.5|
|28.||Brandin Cooks, Hou.||45||4.5||65.3||2.7||.31||13.2|
|29.||Sterling Shepard, NYG||38||5.0||55.4||4.1||.32||12.8|
|30.||Emmanuel Sanders, N.O.||43||4.6||57.3||1.8||.38||12.8|
|31.||DJ Chark, Jac.||31||4.3||57.1||.6||.43||12.6|
|32.||Curtis Samuel, Car.||37||4.1||48.5||10.0||.38||12.3|
|33.||Jamison Crowder, NYJ||37||4.5||51.9||1.3||.40||12.2|
|34.||Robby Anderson, Car.||46||4.3||57.1||.2||.32||11.9|
|35.||DeVante Parker, Mia.||40||4.0||57.6||.0||.35||11.8|
|36.||Cole Beasley, Buff.||46||4.7||52.5||.0||.31||11.8|
|37.||John Brown, Buff.||40||3.7||55.8||.3||.37||11.5|
|38.||Michael Gallup, Dall.||41||3.7||57.9||.0||.33||11.5|
|39.||Christian Kirk, Ariz.||39||4.1||49.2||3.4||.32||11.2|
|40.||Golden Tate, NYG||38||4.2||48.9||1.3||.32||11.1|
|41.||Courtland Sutton, Den.||33||3.5||57.0||.5||.30||11.1|
|42.||Marquise Brown, Balt.||30||3.5||45.1||.0||.50||11.0|
|43.||Dede Westbrook, Jac.||31||4.3||44.4||4.0||.31||11.0|
|44.||Corey Davis, Ten.||45||3.8||55.0||1.2||.24||10.9|
|45.||Mike Williams, LAC||46||3.0||52.6||.7||.40||10.8|
|46.||Nelson Agholor, L.V.||40||3.7||48.0||1.2||.36||10.7|
|47.||Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.||45||4.4||43.3||.4||.26||10.3|
|48.||Sammy Watkins, K.C.||34||3.8||47.4||2.0||.25||10.2|
|49.||Randall Cobb, Hou.||34||3.9||48.6||.3||.24||10.2|
|50.||Mohamed Sanu, Det.||36||3.8||42.3||1.7||.23||9.6|
|51.||Adam Humphries, Ten.||35||3.9||40.5||.3||.26||9.5|
|52.||Tyrell Williams, Oak.||30||2.8||43.5||.5||.37||9.4|
|53.||Kendrick Bourne, S.F.||30||3.2||42.5||.0||.29||9.2|
|54.||Keelan Cole, Jac.||31||3.2||41.0||.1||.23||8.7|
|55.||Marquez Valdes-Scantling, G.B.||38||2.4||44.4||1.3||.26||8.6|
|56.||Danny Amendola, Det.||44||3.8||42.2||.3||.07||8.5|
|57.||Chris Conley, Jac.||45||2.6||34.8||.0||.27||7.7|
|58.||TreQuan Smith, N.O.||35||2.2||30.9||.1||.40||7.7|
|59.||Anthony Miller, Chi.||47||2.9||33.3||.9||.23||7.7|
|60.||David Moore, Sea.||31||2.1||29.4||2.1||.35||7.4|
|61.||Willie Snead, Balt.||44||2.8||31.8||.3||.20||7.3|
|62.||Zay Jones, L.V.||31||2.8||28.5||.1||.24||7.0|
|63.||Demarcus Robinson, K.C.||38||2.4||29.9||.0||.26||7.0|
|64.||James Washington, Pitt.||40||2.3||33.6||.0||.23||7.0|
|65.||Seth Roberts, Balt.||31||2.1||24.7||.2||.13||5.4|
|66.||Miles Boykin, Balt.||32||1.0||14.5||.0||.22||3.8|