Chiefs Agree to Terms on ‘No-Brainer’ Reunion at WR: Report

Patrick Mahomes

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs have locked in another weapon for quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.

When Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke with reporters at the NFL League Meeting in Arizona, he mentioned that he was “optimistic” that his front office would be able to re-sign veteran wide receiver and versatile special teamer Justin Watson.

Today on April 14, general manager Brett Veach made good on that promise, coming to terms with Watson on a two-year deal according to his agents at JL Sports.

Arrowhead Pride media member Pete Sweeney was among the initial reactions, voicing: “This one was a no-brainer. Justin Watson developed a nice rapport with Patrick Mahomes, [which] led to career-highs for the WR in 2022. Regular season: 15 [receptions] for 315 yards and 2 TD. Playoffs: 3 [receptions] for 30 yards, including two SBLVII catches.”

Terms of Justin Watson’s New Contract With Chiefs

Just after the news, ESPN NFL insiders Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter confirmed the financials, sharing them on Twitter simultaneously.

Schefter wrote: “Chiefs re-signed WR Justin Watson to a two-year deal worth up to $6 million, including $1.4 million guaranteed, per his agent @JLSports3.”

Fowler then broke down the contract in more detail, relaying: “Justin Watson’s two-year deal with the Chiefs is worth $3.5M with $1.4M guaranteed and $2.5M in escalators/incentives to potentially reach $6M in total, per source. A nice reward after Watson had 315 receiving yards and two touchdowns for KC last year.”

Watson is now the fourth-highest paid wide receiver on the Chiefs in terms of guaranteed money according to Spotrac — behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. In terms of average annual salary, the veteran jumps up to third behind “MVS” and Toney.

Newcomer Richie James’ contract details have yet to be announced, so he could eventually be in the mix here as well.

Chiefs WR Justin Watson Could Have ‘Expanded Role’ in 2023

Once the signing became official, The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov noted that “Watson became a favorite of the Chiefs coaching staff early in camp,” adding that he “could have an expanded role this season.”

It’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility, considering Watson exceeded expectations in year one within head coach Andy Reid’s system. The journeyman finished fifth in receiving yards last season for the entire roster.

That includes tight end Travis Kelce and ex-WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, as well as Valdes-Scantling and unsigned running back Jerick McKinnon. Behind Watson were bigger names like Mecole Hardman, Toney, Moore, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Isiah Pacheco and Noah Gray — although some of those players missed time with injury.

The five-year NFL veteran was also a big help for special teams coordinator Dave Toub. According to Pro Football Focus, Watson took snaps on kick return, kick return coverage, punt return and punt return coverage in 2022.

His PFF grades were average (64.1), but the wideout also flashed some potential as a returner with five punt returns for 39 yards. Watson even returned a couple of kickoffs during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although he best serves Toub as a plus-blocker and willing tackler on the ST unit.

It will be interesting to see how much Veach adds to this WR corps during the NFL Draft — or after it with undrafted rookies. The free-for-all of a unit runs 11-deep already if you count RB-hybrid Jerrion Ealy.

Currently, the rest of the group is as follows: MVS, Toney, Moore, Watson, James, Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, John Ross and Ty Fryfogle.

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