The Baltimore Ravens entered the offseason process with one of their primary goals being to add a veteran wide receiver to put around young quarterback Lamar Jackson, with the hopes that it could help take his game, and the team’s passing offense, to the next level.
They swung and missed a couple of times, most notably on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster, before landing on veteran Sammy Watkins, who is now going on his fourth different team after spending the past several seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, who brings Super Bowl experience to a unit looking to get there themselves.
Watkins sees himself as that piece, and wants to help that process along. He spoke to reporters yesterday for the first time since signing with the team, and among other things, he talked about how excited he is to play with Jackson.
“I definitely had a great conversation with him and kind of talked to him like, ‘man, this is your show. I just want to be a part of it. You’re a special talent, and I just want to come here and help out, as far as making plays for you and making it easy on you’”, he said, relaying that Jackson more or less echoed the same thoughts about what they want.
“I can’t wait to work with him”, Watkins added. “It’s really no knock on him; the guys need to be put into situations to have fun and go out there and make plays. I think Greg [Roman] is going to put him in great situations. As a quarterback, you know the wideouts have to do their job. You hear this knock on why guys didn’t go there, or why guys are taken out [and] they run the ball, or they do this, or do that”.
“I just think coaches call plays, and players have to play”, he continued. “They’re going to put us in the best situation to make those plays. I think Lamar is going to go out there and kill it, throw for however many yards that he’s been doing and scoring touchdowns. I just want to be a part of something special, and I think we’re going to get the job done”.
Watkins has put up some numbers before, but he hasn’t had more than three receiving touchdowns in a season since 2017. He hasn’t hit 700 receiving yards since his second season in 2015 when he reached 1000 yards for the first and so far only time.
The former first-round pick reportedly signed a one-year deal that is worth $5 million with another $1 million in incentives. He comes into a passing offense that ranks among the bottom in the league in attempts and yardage.
He will also be by far the veteran of the group, with the bulk of the position helmed by those who have been drafted in the past two years; namely, Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche. Deon Cain is also on their roster.