It’s not that Sammy Watkins doesn’t like money. He just prefers winning.
The veteran wide receiver said it wasn’t as painful taking a pay cut this offseason, because it means he got to stay with the Chiefs.
“Very important to stay,” Watkins said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “For what we did in winning the Super Bowl and the type of team and coaches we have, the organization, why wouldn’t I stay? I’m a guy that’s been in the league going on seven years, and I’ve been on teams that were not so good and were not winning.
“We’ve got a well-established quarterback, a well-established team, coaches, organization. The real fun is in the winning more than anything.”
Had Watkins refused a reduced rate on the final year of his contract, he could have plied his trade elsewhere. But going from $14 million to $9 million was more palatable considering he gets to celebrate being a Super Bowl champion, and continue to play with Patrick Mahomes and the rest of a talented cast.
“I think I’ve made enough money,” Watkins said. “I’d love more money, but as far as being smart and [staying] on this team, knowing you’ve got to pay Pat [Mahomes], you’ve got to pay Chris [Jones], there’s a lot of guys you’ve got to pay. So for me to take a contract like I did was a blessing. . . .
“This is my happy place, so why not take a smaller contract and come out and play with the guys I’ve been playing with?”
Watkins remains an expensive third option (behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce), and every receiver wants the ball as much as they want more money. But for Watkins, for now, the price is right.