It's now official. The Ravens have their veteran wide receiver.
Sammy Watkins has passed his physical and signed his one-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $5 million with another $1 million in incentives. The two sides first agreed to the contract on March 27 and it was signed about a week later.
After teaming with Patrick Mahomes for three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Watkins will become the newest piece in Baltimore's passing attack and catch passes from another MVP quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens needed an outside receiver to help Jackson and provide another threat opposite Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. Watkins, who has been that kind of asset for Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in recent years, will help elevate Baltimore's passing attack.
Watkins has 321 catches for 4,665 yards and 33 touchdowns over his seven-year career, averaging 14.5 yards per catch. The 27-year-old has been primarily an intermediate target in recent years, and he has been productive in big games -- earning the nickname "Playoff Sammy."
He caught 18 passes in three playoff games during the Chiefs' run to a Super Bowl title during the 2019 season. He caught 10 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in the 2019 AFC Championship game, followed by five catches for 98 yards in Kansas City's Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He made arguably the biggest play of the game for Kansas City, helping them come from behind late in the fourth quarter.
The Ravens hope that reuniting Watkins with Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, who coached Watkins when they were with the Buffalo Bills, will bring out the best in the fourth-overall pick from the 2014 Draft. Roman was Buffalo's offensive coordinator in 2015 where Watkins had his most productive NFL season, finishing with 60 catches for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Keith Williams, who is Baltimore's new pass game specialist, has also worked with Watkins as a personal coach during the offseason.
At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Watkins has the size to be a capable blocker in Baltimore's run-heavy offense. He also has the experience to serve as a mentor to young Ravens receivers like Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche, who are looking for bigger roles as they continue to develop.
The biggest issue for Watkins has been his difficulty staying healthy. He has played in fewer than 10 games in three of the last five seasons – eight games in 2016, nine games in 2018 and nine games last season when he finished with 37 catches, a career-low 421 yards and two touchdowns.
Baltimore reportedly pursued wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster before he re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and T.Y. Hilton reportedly came close to signing a multi-year deal with the Ravens before he re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts. That left Watkins as the most sought-after free agent receiver available, and he chose Baltimore as his new home.
Many of Watkins' new Ravens teammates welcomed him on social media.