Before winning the Super Bowl, Sammy Watkinsadmitted he'd consider taking a pay cut to stay in Kansas City.
That salary haircut has finally come.
Watkins announced Friday he's returning to Kansas City.
Watkins agreed to a new one-year contract that includes $7 million in base salary, a $1 million signing bonus and $1 million in per-game roster bonuses with an additional $7 million in incentives that could get the deal to $16 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported, per sources informed of the deal. The new contract also includes a no-trade clause, per Rapoport and Garafolo.
Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports first reported the news.
The pay cut keeps Watkins in K.C. while adding a much needed $5 million in salary-cap space for a Chiefs team that was pressed as tight against the cap as possible ahead of the draft.
Set to make $13.75 million in base salary -- none of which was guaranteed -- with a $21 million cap figure (highest on the team), there was no chance the Chiefs were entering the 2020 season with Watkins on the same deal.
The redone deal accomplishes the goal of lowering that base salary to a figure more aligned with his production while adding incentives to potentially recoup that loss.
With the way the free-agent receiver market fizzled this offseason due in part to the loaded draft class at the position, the deal is good for all.
Watkins earned 673 yards on 52 receptions with 3 TDs last season, his highest totals since 2015. The 26-year-old receiver wasn't worth the nearly $14 million he was set to make, but still plays a crucial role in Kansas City. Watkins led the Chiefs during their postseason run with 288 yards on 14 catches with a TD. In big playoff games the past two seasons, Watkins has stepped up huge, including in the Super Bowl comeback victory.
In the end, his draft pedigree has made Watkins a good chunk of money. The redone deal represents the reality of his production while still earning a solid season's pay for his role in big games.