Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Obviously, Sammy Watkins has been the ‘sexy’ big-name free agent most Titans fans are clamoring for. After a solid year under Matt LaFleur and now being set to hit the open market at only 24 years old, it’s easy to see the fit and why fans are enamored with the possibility of Watkins catching passes from Marcus Mariota in 2018.
Despite being traded right before the start of the season, Watkins was able to catch 39 passes for just under 600 yards and eight touchdowns. Considering the extremely limited amount of time he had to adjust to a whole new city, team, and system, those numbers aren’t as bad as they may seem. Especially considering the fact that Jared Goff was able to find Watkins in the end zone eight times.
All Los Angeles did was send him deep, and he would put up better numbers if Goff didn’t have his struggles down the field.
Two years removed from his best season (60 catches for 1,047 yards) and having a somewhat extensive injury history (missing 12 games the last three seasons) may create a warrant for concern for the talented receiver.
What can complicate things further is the relationship Watkins had with current Titans WR coach Rob Moore during their time together in Buffalo. After Moore moved on from Buffalo, Watkins was quick to say this: “Now, we’re understanding how to run routes off any press, off any leverage, to where you won’t be covered. We were kind of limited last year with certain things. It was, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ All [Moore] wanted to do was just tie-in what he knew and what he did in his career and just do that.” (Syracuse.com)
Based off that quote, I have a hunch that Watkins may not be in favor of rejoining forces with LaFleur if he has to deal with Moore again every day in the meeting room. But the possibility of joining a rising team with a young franchise passer and other offensive weapons (as well as a lucrative deal) may be enough for Watkins to make up with Moore.
Robinson typically acquires one ‘big-name’ target every off-season. Don’t be surprised if he relies on these connections to lure one of these players to Nashville.