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Wat the heck?

Ravens adding Watkins to receiving corps

The Ravens are reportedly signing Sammy Watkins to a one-year deal including $5 million in guaranteed money. I don’t see it. As poorly as he’s played in Kansas City, I don’t see any plausible scenario where he does much of anything for Baltimore.

The Ravens contract is contingent on Watkins passing a physical, and it includes extra money that can be earn through incentives.

Watkins way back when was coveted receiving prospect. In 2014, he was drafted 4th overall – before, remarkably, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson and Davante Adams. But that was a long time ago, and with a lengthy list of leg injuries over the year, he doesn’t physically look like an elite guy anymore.

In four of the last five years, Watkins has caught only 2-3 TDs. In each of the last three years, he’s been working with Patrick Mahomes – maybe the game’s best passer – yet never really got it going there. The low point came in 2019, when Tyreek Hill had an injury-marred season, yet Watkins still didn’t post good numbers.

Watkins missed 6, 2 and 6 games in his three years with KC, but even when healthy he was never much of a factor. His 16-game average for KC was 61 catches for 759 yards and 3.8 TDs. With all those stats Mahomes put up, Watkins never really got in on it. KC has finished 3rd, 4th and 1st in passing the last three years, but with Watkins doing little.

Now Watkins heads to a Baltimore team that’s ranked 29th and last in passing in Lamar Jackson’s two full season. While Jackson is a dynamic scrambler, they’ve been unable to put together a passing game of any significance. And Watkins looks unlikely to play any role in Baltimore’s passing game improving noticeably.

If the Ravens somehow sneak up to 25th or 20th in passing this year, it won’t be with Watkins doing much of anything. It will be Hollywood Brown who’ll be their busiest wide receivers. I’m not sure that Watkins will even be better than their other young wide receivers (Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay). This is a misfire by the Ravens, I believe.


—Ian Allan

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