A risky free agent wide receiver has been tabbed as one the Detroit Lions should avoid, and they should have no trouble doing just that.
Heading into the offseason, wide receiver is among the need areas for the Detroit Lions. Amon-Ra St. Brown is clearly a keeper, but the need for upgrades alongside him are obvious. The draft will yield good options from the first round all the way to the middle rounds, but a free agent signing can’t be ruled out as a supplement before the draft.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report has made a list of one free agent each NFL team should avoid this offseason. For the Lions, a wide receiver landed in his crosshairs.
Detroit Lions: WR Sammy Watkins
Instead of focusing on a player like Sammy Watkins—even if the 28-year-old comes cheap and fills a major need in the receiving corps—the Lions should bring in younger players who could maximize their potential on long-term deals.
Watkins just played for his third team in five years, putting up a career-worst 49 catches for 394 yards and one touchdown with the Ravens.
Watkins has little upside and is prone to injury, making it unlikely he’d still be around by the time Detroit is ready to turn the corner.
2022 Free Agency: Lions should easily avoid Sammy Watkins
As Kay cited, Watkins just finished a season with the Baltimore Ravens where he registered career-lows in catches (27) and yards (394). He also missed four games, three with a hamstring injury and one due to being on the COVID-19 list, and a knee issue bothered him late in the season.
At this point, Watkins is more name than game. Baltimore was his third team in five seasons, and he has topped 600 yards (and 40 catches, for that matter) in a season just once in the past six campaigns. Injuries haven’t helped, but they are a big part of the equation too. Ask the Kansas City Chiefs how quickly they wanted to move on from Watkins after signing him to a three-year, $48 million deal in 2018.
Coming off a one-year, $5 million deal with the Ravens, Watkins will surely come cheaply on the open market. But the Lions can and should go younger if they go into the bargain bin, or maybe go up a little financially for someone else on a one-year deal. Quite simply, Watkins will not be in a Lions’ uniform next season.