Sammy Watkins: My career hasn’t been what I projected, and my back is against the wall

USA TODAY Sports

Sammy Watkins was the fourth overall choice in 2014. He is with his fifth team, has never made the Pro Bowl, has missed 30 games because of injuries and has had only one 1,000-yard season, and that was 1,047 yards.

Watkins, now with the Packers, understands why his career might be viewed as a disappointment.

“I think I told the coaches, ‘My back is against the wall,’” Watkins said Wednesday, via Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. “My career hasn’t been what I projected it to be, and it’s a great opportunity for me to come here, play hard, catch a ton of balls, compete at the highest level and win games and fight to stay healthy. That’s been the knock on my career — to stay on the field.”

Watkins, who turns 29 next week, was signed by the Packers to help replace Davante Adams, the ninth receiver off the board in the 2014 draft, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Packers traded Adams to the Raiders and Valdes-Scantling left for the Chiefs in free agency after the two players combined for 149 receptions for 1,983 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021.

Watkins admits he was “worried” after hamstring and knee injuries last season and career-lows with 27 receptions for 394 yards and a touchdown whether he would get another opportunity to continue his career.

“I think this is probably one of the best situations I’ve probably ever been in in my career, to play with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, one of the best coaches, one of the best organizations,” Watkins said. “To get this opportunity is really a blessing because I did nothing last year.”

Watkins is not guaranteed a spot on the 53-player roster, but the Packers are hoping he can stay healthy and contribute.

“I’m not done yet,” Watkins said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot more in my tank, a lot more football to be played at the highest level, and hopefully I can be consistent and stay on the field. . . . When I’m on the field, I can ball; I can catch balls; I can score; and I’m a dominant player. But the key is staying on the field.”

19 responses to “Sammy Watkins: My career hasn’t been what I projected, and my back is against the wall

  1. Doug Whaley was recently interviewed in a serious manner for the Steelers GM position.

    He also spent two firsts on Sammy Watkins with E.J. Manuel at QB. Khalil Mack homegrown at U.B. was the next pick…

  2. An All Time Rex Ryan BUST. Imagine having constant top 15 picks and whiffing over and over?

  3. Good luck Sammy. Thanks for helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl a couple of seasons ago.

  4. Dude had so much talent coming out of Clemson and just didn’t care to work hard.

  5. Expecting packer rookie WRs to contribite first year has their nicknames hope wish and pray. Looks like watkins can be dreaming

  6. Show us, Sammy! We know you’ve got the real stuff — focus on staying healthy, conditioning, practice. Focus. It’s there if you can grab it!

  7. Sammy is in the one place in the NFL that has the ability to completely change that narrative.

  8. If he looks back upon team success, rather than individual success, his career hasn’t been that bad. One thing for sure is that he’ll get his chances this season given the thin Pack WR group and an MVP QB. If he doesn’t succeed this year, that wall his back is up against may come crumbling down on him.

  9. He actually did win the Ravens a few games last year with late game catches. If he stayed on the field their season wouldve ended differently

  10. At this point, unless it’s obvious, he probably can’t even admit to any injuries he gets this season. There’s no more long-term thinking applied to his situation. Good luck Sammy. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it could be a great story in the making.

  11. So, we’re going to replace Adams and MVS with a 29 year old who has one season where he put up over 1K yards. This should work out well.

  12. packerfan says:
    June 9, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    So, we’re going to replace Adams and MVS with a 29 year old who has one season where he put up over 1K yards. This should work out well.
    ________

    No, we’re replacing Adams and MVS with the combined efforts of Watkins, Amari Rodgers, Doubs and Watson.
    With the passing game further augmented by our backs and Tight Ends.
    In the end, I honestly don’t care who, or if anybody, gets 1,000 receiving yards.
    As long as the Packers generate about 4,300 yds of passing offense and they’re able to score 24+ points a game, this team will be just fine.
    And I have no doubts that this team, as a whole, will hit those marks.

    Justin Jefferson has been stacking up the numbers since he’s entered the league, but what has that really done for the Minnesota Vikings as a team?
    You don’t win trophies or even go to the postseason on individual statistics.

  13. The only people worried about the Packer receivers are the fans of their division opponents. Packer fans aren’t concerned. The biggest difference among the NFCN teams and their expectations for success is still Aaron Rodgers. Nothing has changed. All the wishing, hoping, and praying by haters and fight-pickers can’t change it.

  14. He froze Richard Sherman in the SuperBowl with a juke move he got from watching film on Davante Adams.

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