The Chiefs didn’t give Sammy Watkins a three-year contract worth $48 million to use him as a decoy. Instead, they plan on giving the former first-round pick plenty of chances, asking him to learn all the wideout positions. Coach Andy Reid said: “We’re moving him all over the place, and he’s handled it. We’ve overloaded him with that. That’s how we do it in this offense. That’s something new for him. You can tell he’s a guy that takes it away from here and studies. When we’re doing all these different formations, you’ve got to do that. You just can’t get it all when you’re here. You’ve got to go back and you’ve got to review, and he’s done that and he’s really limited the mistakes for all we’ve given him.” Watkins has never had to do that in his career, Reid added. Watkins played the traditional X receiver in his three seasons with Buffalo and his one season with the Rams. He has only one 1,000-yard season, going for 1,047 in 2015. “I’ve never been in an offense like this, around a coach that just feels like he’s obsessed with the game and makes you want to be obsessed with it, too, to know more about the offense,” said Watkins. “The more you break it down, the more you can be available and switching different positions.” On an offense that includes running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill, Watkins isn’t going to be focal point. Then again, that should mean more one-on-one chances than Watkins has ever had. Watkins added: “Anybody can get the ball. I’ve learned all the positions. I just can’t learn one position. I have to be focused and in tune. You have to do that off-field work, staying in your books.” Watkins, 25, caught 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns last season for the Rams.
Nick Foles remains in Philadelphia with a restructured deal. But with Carson Wentzreturning, it begs the question of how long the Super Bowl MVP will stay around as a backup? While promoting his new book, “Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds,” Foles appeared on FS1 sounding as if he expects to play elsewhere by next season. Many, in fact, are surprised Foles isn’t already a starter somewhere else. Foles added: “I would love the opportunity to lead a team. Now, let me also say this, I’m not just going to go to a team and say, ‘Hey, I want to lead this team,’ and not see where they are. It’s about an environment. . . . So if that does come to be, I want to find the right [place], be with the right team, a team like the Philadelphia Eagles organization. They do it the right way. It’s an amazing locker room with amazing leaders and coaches. I’ve been blessed to be a part of it. That’s why I’m not running away. They had me under contract this year. Everyone wanted to know where I was going to be. I’m grateful to be a part of it. They restructured my deal. They wanted me there. I wanted to be there this year. We’ll see what happens after the season, but I’m excited about this 2018 Eagles season. I get to wear that jersey at least one more year, and I’m super excited about wearing it one more year.” Wentz has targeted the season opener for his return, but Foles gives them a Plan B if Wentz isn’t. The Eagles will have until October 30 to trade Foles. Foles’ restructured deal includes a mutual option for 2019.
Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley has made his first big purchase since becoming an NFL player. Barkley revealed on Instagram that he has bought a house for his parents, something he’s been wanting to do since he first realized he had the talent to make it to the NFL. “Something I promised my parents, ever since I was a young kid,” Barkley wrote. “Finally be able to achieve that goal is the most amazing feeling. Every kid out there that has a dream continue to keep your head down and work your butt off, great things will come along the way.” Barkley previously said the house would be atop his priorities. His rookie contract as the second overall pick in the draft will pay him a guaranteed $31.5 million over his first four years in the league.