When Sammy Watkins is on the field, he is one of the top young receivers in the NFL. The problem for Watkins, though, has been staying healthy throughout his three-year career with the Buffalo Bills.
Due to Watkins’ injury history—which has caused him to miss 11 games in three seasons—the Bills are unsure on whether they are going to pick up his option for his fifth-year option for the 2018 season.
The Bills have until May 2 to decide on the option for Watkins’ rookie contract, and they intend on mulling it over in the coming weeks according to Sal Capaccio of WGR 550.
Watkins, 23, was the No. 4 overall pick by the Bills in the 2014 NFL Draft, and the franchise traded two first-round picks and a fourth rounder to move up for Watkins. Watkins missed half of last season with a foot injury, and he has had two surgeries on the same foot.
If the Bills pick up the option for Watkins, his contract becomes guaranteed in 2018 regardless of whether he is injured. So if he is hurt next season, the Bills would still owe him $13 million in 2018.
Watkins has caught over 150 passes for nearly 2,500 yards and 17 touchdowns in his three seasons in the NFL, and he has established himself as one of the top receivers in the league. It’s understandable why the Bills are concerned with picking up his option, but if they let him go and he flourishes elsewhere, it would be a bad look for the franchise.
Buffalo also invested a lot in Watkins when they traded up for him, so they might not want to bail on him after only four years. Then again, if they decline his option, they can still renegotiate after next season.
(h/t Pro Football Talk)