NFL

Sammy Watkins’ Earnings For Six Below-Average Seasons Is Staggering

When the Buffalo Bills selected Sammy Watkins as the No. 4 overall pick out of Clemson in the 2014 NFL draft, along with a huge signing bonus came huge expectations. The Bills delivered on the money. Watkins failed to deliver on the expectations and after three injury-riddled, less-than-productive seasons was out in Buffalo. Last season, his sixth in the NFL, Watkins won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. How much has Sammy Watkins earned in his career?

Sammy Watkins puts up less-than-impressive numbers in Buffalo

With Sammy Watkins receiving more than $13 million his first season, including a $12.8-million signing bonus up front, there’s no way head coach Doug Marrone was going to sit his high-paid rookie receiver. 

In Watkins’ first year in Buffalo, he started all 16 games, hauling in 65 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns. Not a bad rookie season but nothing compared to fellow rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. who caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and doubled Watkin’s scoring output with 12 touchdowns. 

Watkins improved his sophomore season catching 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. However, before the start of his third season in Buffalo, Watkins suffered a broken bone in his foot and had it surgically repaired with a screw inserted. He missed half the season and caught a pair of touchdowns. After three lackluster years in Buffalo, the Bills traded Watkins and a future sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams prior to the 2017 season.  

Watkins partied every night in Buffalo

Watkins and his lack of productivity in Buffalo could have been attributed to multiple things—the system, the quarterback, the nagging injuries. In an extensive interview with Bleacher Report, the main reason for Watkins’ failings in Buffalo is much easier to pinpoint. Watkins partied. Every night. Literally.

“I would go out and get wasted,” he said in the interview. “Wasted wasted.”

Beer, liquor, marijuana. Watkins did it all, and he would do it until the early morning hours. When he finished partying with friends, he’d go home and drink alone until 4 a.m. After a few hours of sleep, he’d get up at 6 a.m., go to practice, and repeat the same process all over.  

Watkins slipped into a dark depression. When the Bills hired new head coach Sean McDermott, Watkins knew it was time for a change. He never demanded a trade, but prayed for one to happen. It did. In August 2017, Watkins was sent to the west coast and Los Angeles.  

What are Sammy Watkins’ total earnings in six seasons?

In his three seasons in Buffalo, Watkins caught 153 receptions for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns. For his time with the Bills, he made $16.79 million according to Spotrac

During his one season with the Rams, Watkins didn’t receive any bonuses and earned a salary of $690,000. For the amount of money, Watkins had one of his most productive seasons in LA catching 39 passes including eight touchdowns.

In the last two seasons, Watkins played with the Chiefs, where he caught three touchdowns each season. He had a crucial game-clinching touchdown in the Chiefs victory over the Titans in the AFC championship. Both seasons combined, he grabbed 92 passes for 1,192 yards (596 yards per season). Including signing bonuses, the Chiefs paid him $34 million. For his six-year NFL career, Watkins has made $53.93 million.

In April, the Chiefs signed Watkins to a one-year deal that will pay him $9 million in the 2020 season with incentives to make up to $16 million.