Bills now not expected to pick up Sammy Watkins option

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After giving up a bounty of picks to draft Sammy Watkins in 2014, the Bills are prepared to let him test free agency in 2018.

Buffalo is not expected to pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins’ rookie contract, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports. That means Watkins becomes a free agent after the upcoming season.

Watkins is recovering from foot surgery, and fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury. So the decision not to pick up the option indicates that the Bills aren’t so sure Watkins will stay healthy, and they don’t want to give him the $13.3 million injury guarantee that comes with a fifth-year option.

It’s also worth noting that the news broke immediately after the Bills drafted receiver Zay Jones. Buffalo may think Jones makes Watkins expendable.

In any event, it’s a major disappointment for the Bills that they may get only four years out of Watkins after using two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to move up and draft him three years ago. When you make a move like that, you think you’re going to draft a player who will change your franchise’s fortunes. Watkins, as talented as he is, hasn’t done that.

18 responses to “Bills now not expected to pick up Sammy Watkins option

  1. Just because they aren’t picking up bus 5 th year option doesn’t mean the Bills will let him test free agency in 2018. It simply means they are protecting themselves just in case he gets hurt again and his salary will then be guaranteed. They can always tag him or negotiate a deal if he has a good , injury free year

  2. Franchise tag is not much more than the fifth year option. If Sammy gets healthy, tag him and work out a deal. If he doesn’t, they aren’t on the hook for a big injury guarantee. All about risk vs. reward. The risk of paying $13.3M for an injured receiver is not worth the $3M in savings between the option and franchise tag if he gets healthy.

  3. vicnocal says:
    Apr 28, 2017 8:19 PM
    They didnt give up two first round picks for him. When you use a pick on someone it’s not considered giving it up.
    But the idiots on here don’t understand that, neither do the writers, it’s like they are clueless. You still had a first round pick, you just moved, therefore, it’s ONE, not two……….no idea why people are so dumb they don’t get it.

  4. They spent two first round picks on the guy. I don’t see what’s so hard to figure out about that. Is it a semantic problem?

  5. They did not “give up two first round picks”. The trade was moving up 5 spots, and the cost of that move was a first and a fourth in 2015.

  6. If you “give up two first round picks” it means someone else got two first round picks and you lost two. If this was so, then the Bills would not have drafted Watkins, the Browns would have and his chronic foot injury would be their problem and not the Bills.

  7. If teams don’t pick up the 5th year option on these 1st round picks, it’s virtually the first admission from the team, that he’s a bust.
    Yes, Sammy is still a Bill for one more year unless he really lights it up.

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