The 2021 NFL free agency is right around the corner starting on March 17th at four PM ET. The NFL has announced the 2021 salary cap will be $182.5 million, a stark contrast to the $198.2 million from last season. The decreased cap number will force teams to cut more players than usual, and potentially not re-sign big-name players in the 2021 NFL free agency.
The Kansas City Chiefs are currently $21 million over the cap. On top of trying to get below the cap number, the team likely won’t be able to bring back wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins, though he has been fighting injuries, is only 27 years old. In his past three seasons with the Chiefs, he has accumulated 129 receptions, 1,613 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns. Those numbers might not jump off the page but Watkins has been instrumental in the Chiefs’ offense.
He makes the dirty catches over the middle of the field and has opened up the passing game for other receivers such as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He brings experience and a championship pedigree with him. What are some potential destinations for Sammy Watkins in the 2021 NFL free agency?
2021 NFL Free Agency: Most Likely Destinations for Sammy Watkins
The Baltimore Ravens have been looking for wide receivers since Steve Smith retired following the 2016 season. The Ravens are an elite running team but part of that reason is they kind of have to be. Lamar Jackson had 2,757 passing yards last season which ranked 22nd. The lack of wide receivers is a big contributing factor to the lack of passing in Baltimore.
The Ravens’ have an explosive deep-threat wide receiver in Marquise Brown but they lack a receiver who can make the tough dirty work catches in the middle of the field. Watkins can be that receiver for them. Giving Lamar Jackson another receiver who has proven success will help him take the next step at quarterback. Baltimore being a run-heavy team would also help prevent Watkins’ body from taking as many hits. This would be a dream-fit for Watkins and the Ravens, which is why he should be signed to Baltimore in the 2021 NFL free agency.
The Chicago Bears are in a quarterback conundrum but regardless of who is taking snaps in 2021, they need wide receivers. The team franchise tagged Allen Robinson for the second consecutive year and the wideout could hold out. Outside of Robinson, rookie Darnell Mooney was the only other receiver the team could count on. The Bears front office should highly consider signing Sammy Watkins during the 2021 NFL free agency.
Even if Robinson signs a long-term deal, adding a third weapon who has been an effective receiver will be a big addition for whoever is playing quarterback for the team. Head coach Matt Nagy worked under Andy Reid for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City. He’s also familiar with Sammy Watkins. Nagy could turn to a former Reid player to add depth and a player familiar with winning.
The Detroit Lions are another team with a lot of uncertainty at the wide receiver position. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, and Mohamed Sanu are all free agents. In fact, the Lions only have three wide receivers under contract as of now. 2020 rookie Quentez Cephus, 2020 opt-out Geronimo Allison, and the newly signed Tyrell Williams. Williams is the most experienced of the trio but even he is far below what Sammy Watkins has accomplished. Detroit needs to dip into the wide receiver class in the 2021 NFL free agency.
The team recently traded for quarterback Jared Goff and now their next step must be to surround him with pass catchers. A mid-tier veteran free agent like Sammy Watkins seems like the type of option the Lions will explore. The team is currently $9 million under the cap which will prevent them from signing any of the big-name free agent receivers but will allow them to do a cheaper one-year type of option for a player like Sammy Watkins in the 2021 NFL free agency.
Thanks for reading my article on the potential destinations for Sammy Watkins in the 2021 NFL free agency.
Follow me on Twitter @Hobby_Connect for more content and NFL talk!
Main Image Credit