The 2018 free agency market is taking shape at WR. Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed WR Mike Evans to a massive five-year deal worth $82.5m with $55m guaranteed that set the position ceiling for this year’s market.
So with Los Angeles Rams WR Sammy Watkins exploring his value, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs are (or could be) “interested” in the Rams’ WR1 from last year (the reporting comes from a video I can’t embed since the NFL would rather force people to go to their website rather than allow fans to share their content, so I’ll just transcribe it):
From what I understand, the Rams have been aggressive and are being aggressive in wanting to keep [Sammy Watkins] and that’s one thing that’s been very clear ever since they gave the franchise tag to someone else, in this case to Lamarcus Joyner. They wanted to keep [Watkins], but he is going to have several interested teams. The Green Bay Packers would be one. The [Chicago] Bears. The Kansas City Chiefs. What about the Jacksonville Jaguars near his home? And if they lose Allen Robinson, I would imagine Watkins would be in the mix there.
With Rapoport, it’s hard to discern how much of what he’s saying is pure speculation and how much is built on actual information from sources. I tend to lean toward the probability that most of it is in the camp of the latter. The problem is that sources can, well, be full of shit. The reality is that the market for Watkins is going to involve several suitors. For the Rams to keep up, they’re going to have to go beyond their initial offer since, obviously, Watkins wasn’t willing to sign it and he’s clearly going to get a better offer from the market.
That’s why Tevin’s piece earlier today was so useful on Rapoport and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora using terms like “aggressively” and “actively” to describe the Rams aren’t really worth much. If the Rams are offering, say, a one-year, $12m deal and another team comes in for two years and $25m or even a three-year deal, it doesn’t matter how you describe the Rams’ efforts to keep Watkins.