In March 2018, the Chiefs signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins to a three-year, $48 million deal, making him one of the most expensive third wheels in NFL history.
But after the performance he turned in to help them win the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said the expense was easy to justify.
“You don’t make [major] moves to make the playoffs,” Veach said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “We’ve been a playoff team for years, since we got here. We were in the playoffs [almost] every year. You make moves like that to put you over the top. Without Sammy’s performance today, who knows how this game would have turned out?
“I was happy for Sammy. He’s around a lot of talent, so sometimes he can’t show what he can do.”
Playing alongside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce doesn’t necessarily leave much room for playmaking. Watkins had just 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and that included his 198-yard, three-touchdown outburst against the Jaguars in the regular season opener.
But Sunday against the Titans, he had seven catches for 114 yards, and his 60-yard touchdown from Patrick Mahomes early in the fourth quarter gave them a 35-17 lead, triggering the celebration in Kansas City.
“One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was coming to this team,” Watkins said. “I don’t worry too much about my number [being called]. Like I said, my job is to go out there and fight for my brothers, whether it’s blocking, running routes, catching. It doesn’t matter. As a player, I just go out there and be in the right position at the right time and let Pat deliver the ball.”
And Sunday, he was in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time.