Chiefs will try to bring back Sammy Watkins, who is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs will have to work on some roster maneuvering this offseason, as there’s one player from the back-to-back AFC championship teams they’d like to keep on their roster. Kansas City is open to retaining Sammy Watkins, as the veteran wide receiver is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason. 

“Sammy is a big part of this offense and when he’s healthy, we’re better,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said, per ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “If there’s a way we can make it work again, we’ll certainly try to do that. Love having him around.”

Watkins had a career-low 421 yards and 11.4 yards per catch this season (37 receptions), so a lower contract is expected for a player that had a cap number of $15.875 million in 2020. Watkins said that’s more than fine prior to the Super Bowl, even with the Chiefs’ cap situation heading into 2021. Kansas City is projected to be $22.8 million over the salary cap this offseason (per Over The Cap). 

“The person that I am — I love to win,” Watkins said. “Why we play this game is to win Super Bowls. It’s not for stats, it’s not for fame. It messes up the person I am to go out there and care about stats and catching balls. I think I’m a legitimate person in putting my teammates first. 

“Earlier in my career, I wasn’t like that. I wanted the ball, even when we were losing — every time. I know how to control that motor now and understand the team goals and what type of team I’m on. I think that’s what this is about.” 

Watkins has 321 catches for 4,665 yards and 33 touchdowns in seven seasons, averaging 14.5 yards per catch. The former No. 4 overall pick in the draft, Watkins has 129 catches for 1,613 yards and and eight touchdowns in three seasons with Kansas City. 

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