Bills decline WR Sammy Watkins' fifth-year option
The Buffalo Bills declined the fifth-year option for WR Sammy Watkins on Tuesday. Watkins would have been due $13.25 million in 2018 if Buffalo picked up the option, but with injuries plaguing his 2016 season – and still lingering – along with the addition of Zay Jones in the 2017 NFL Draft, it appears that the Bills are more comfortable being non-commital to their 2014 first-round pick.
- Sammy Watkins ranked 47th among 115 qualified receivers with a 74.9 overall grade in 2016 — one year after he ranked 10th among receivers with an 86.5 overall grade.
- When healthy, Watkins and Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor showed that they were one of the more lethal QB-WR connections in football: Watkins’ 128.8 WR rating (the rating Bills QBs had when targeting Watkins) in 2015 ranked third among 85 qualifying receivers.
- Watkins was also one of the better deep threats in the NFL in 2015. His 16 catches on balls that travelled at least 20 yards in the air were the third-most among receivers, and his eight touchdown catches on such passes led the league.
- Despite being productive on the field, injuries have played a large role in Watkins’ career thus far. After playing 1,051 snaps in his rookie season, Watkins has been on the field less and less with each passing year, seeing 728 snaps in 2015 before just 381 this past season.