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Sammy Watkins open to returning to Rams in 2018

Sammy Watkins heads into free agency coming off a dismal playoff performance. The Los Angeles Rams' receiver earned just one reception for 23 yards in Saturday night's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

It was a predictable end to a mediocre season for Watkins, who was traded from Buffalo to L.A. before the dawn of the 2017 season in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick. Watkins earned three or fewer catches in 12 of 15 games in the regular season, tallying 593 yards on 39 catches with 8 TDs.

Watkins was the clear No. 3 wide receiver behind Robert Woods and rookie Cooper Kupp in Sean McVay's offense. Watkins also trailed running back Todd Gurley as an option in the Rams' passing game.

Given his status as a free agent, lack of consistent production and L.A.'s need to pay other players (cough, Aaron Donald, cough, cough), it makes sense that Watkins would move on in 2018.

The 24-year-old receiver, however, said after the playoff loss that he wouldn't mind returning to Tinseltown.

"You see this team building something, with the coaching staff and the players," Watkins said, via the L.A. Daily News. "It would be a pleasure to come back but, you know, it's a business. I'm looking forward to talking to the coach and seeing where my future is at."

Perhaps a full offseason in McVay's offense would make a difference for Watkins' future production, but he'd likely have to take a team-friendly deal to remain with the Rams. On the plus side for Watkins, he didn't miss a game due to injury in 2017 and still owns the enticing speed and size combo that made him the No. 4 overall pick in 2014.

Entering free agency, Watkins could take the Alshon Jeffery route, inking a one-year prove-it deal with a receiver-needy squad in hopes of cashing in down the line.

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