Packers GM: Sammy Watkins has ‘some juice still left in him’

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Sammy Watkins caught only 27 passes and scored just one touchdown last season with the Baltimore Ravens, but the Green Bay Packers still think the 28-year-old receiver can be a legitimate contributor for Matt LaFleur’s team in 2022.

General manager Brian Gutekunst addressed the signing during his pre-draft press conference on Monday.

“Sammy has a pretty good history in this league. He’s got some juice still left in him, I think,” Gutekunst said. “Adding a veteran receiver was just something we wanted to do.”

Watkins, a 2014 first-round pick now on his fourth NFL team, joins a receiver group in Green Bay featuring Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Amari Rodgers. Assuming he makes the team, he’ll play a role in helping the Packers replace the production at receiver of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The Packers signed Watkins to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, but he’ll need to enjoy a bonuce-back season in 2022 to earn the entire salary. The contract includes only $350,000 guaranteed, and over $2 million of the deal is tied up in playtime and performance incentives.

Brandon Carwile of Packers Wire dove into Watkins’ tape from 2021 and came to a similar conclusion as Gutekunst. While he may not step in and produce big numbers in Green Bay, Watkins can give the Packers an experienced pass-catcher who can do some of the little things right, like find open space against zone, win at the line of scrimmage, get open late in plays, and block in the run game.

Watkins won’t be the only addition at receiver. The Packers are entering the 2022 NFL draft with 11 picks, including five in the first 100 picks. Watkins is one piece of the puzzle, but more pieces will soon be arriving.

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