Panthers potential 2021 free agent targets: WR Sammy Watkins

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Tim Weaver
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The Carolina Panthers are about as loaded at the wide receiver position as any team in the NFL right now. However, Curtis Samuel is about to become a free agent and if the two teams playing in the Super Bowl are any indication, you can never have too much firepower at this spot.

One of the best receivers we’ll see on the field next weekend is Sammy Watkins of the Chiefs, who’s about to become a free agent. If he hits the market, Carolina should consider bringing him in.

Pros

Watkins is one of the league’s most athletically gifted wide receivers. He has size (6-foot-1, 211 pounds), breakaway speed and a surprising amount of power to break tackles. Watkins does his best work with the ball in his hands, which fits well with what the Panthers want from their wideouts. He also shares an alma mater with Deshaun Watson, which could help lure the Texans quarterback in a trade. In his career, Watkins has totaled 321 catches, 4,665 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Cons

Watkins does have a bit of tread on his tires – he’s been around seven years and has played 86 games and missed 26 due to injuries. Watkins has also dropped seven passes from Patrick Mahomes over the last two seasons. The biggest concern is naturally the pricetag – Spotrac projects his market value to be $10.6 million a season. It’s hard to justify investing that much in another wide receiver given this team’s other needs.

Conclusion

If Watkins is willing to take a hometown discount he’s worth a look, but odds are he’ll prefer to stay in Kansas City where he has a far better chance of winning multiple championship rings. If the Panthers find a way to keep Curtis Samuel, then there’s no real reason to consider him. If Samuel walks though then Watkins would be a quality replacement.

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