MIAMI — Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins suggested he may sit out next season. "If it suits me and my family and [meets] my needs, for sure," Watkins said Thursday when asked about his options when renegotiating his contract during the offseason.
"But I'm really in a different space right now. I don't know what I'm going to do. If we win it, I might chill out. I might sit out a year. You just never know. Not retiring, but I might just want to rest up and chill. I don't know. I don't want to say I'm going to do something, but you never know. I might want to go somewhere else and create another Super Bowl team. So it's just all about how I'm feeling. I've got to sit down with my family, my parents and grandparents and everybody and just see what I want to do.''
Earlier this week he credited Chiefs head coach Andy Reid with helping reshape his career.
“I've been here for two years and that's probably one of the most genuine person I've ever met,” Watkins said during Monday's opening night at the Super Bowl. “To know him as a coach, a coach that really cares, a coach you can really talk to and probably the best decision I've ever made in my life to come play for him.”
The 26-year-old Watkins caught 52 passes for 673 yards with three touchdowns this season, and he has a two-year total of 92 catches for 1,192 yards and six scores with the Chiefs. He's delivered strong performances in the last two AFC Championship games, catching 11 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown combined last season against New England and this year against Tennessee.
Watkins signed a $48 million free-agent contract with the Chiefs in March 2018. His average yearly salary of $16 million ranks as the ninth-highest in the league among wide receivers.
The contract calls for a base salary of $13.75 million and a $250,000 workout bonus, creating a cap hit of $21 million. The Chiefs could renegotiate a new deal with Watkins to reduce his cap number. Releasing Watkins would result in a cap charge of $7 million for the 2020 season remaining from his outstanding signing bonus but free up $14 million in cap space.
The Chiefs will likely find themselves looking for cap room in the immediate future with club chairman and CEO Clark Hunt saying this week he's made it a priority to get a contract extension with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Defensive tackle Chris Jones is a pending free agent this season, and the Chiefs need to consider their options with him, which could include a new contract or applying the franchise tag.