BALTIMORE, Md. — The Ravens entered the offseason needing to beef up their wide receiving corps. Their answer so far has come via free agency in the form of Sammy Watkins.
"You look at a lot of different teams and there was one team that stuck out and it was the Ravens," said the veteran receiver.
It’s a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $6 million, $5 million guaranteed.
"They got a great team and I think they are trying to get over that hump and I think it’s a great matchup for me and what I want to basically do as far as my career," said Watkins.
That career has lasted seven years. The last three have been in Kansas City where Watkins has been a part of two AFC titles and a Super Bowl championship. For his career: 321 catches for 4,665 yards and 33 touchdowns. The one issue has been injuries. Watkins said he has talked to the Baltimore coaches about the best approach to take.
"I told them they have to protect me, know when to kill my legs and make sure I’m getting good work but also knowing to pull back."
Watkins joins a Ravens passing game that ranked last in the NFL last year. He said that’s not all on quarterback Lamar Jackson.
"If we can be a balanced offense and go out there and get open when we need to get open, I think Lamar can throw for those 4,000 yards or those 4,500 yards, 5,000, whatever these guys are putting up," he said. "I think he can be that quarterback and be elite in this game. It’s no knock on him. When you watch film, honestly, everybody wasn’t getting open. I think that was a critical part with this offense. We can blame the offensive coordinators but as players we got to do our job. I just think that’s the thing. I got to go out there and get open. Hollywood (Marquise Brown) and whoever we have on the field got to get open for Lamar."
Watkins said he had a 'great conversation' with Lamar and told him:
"This is your show. I just want to be a part of it and you are a special talent. I just want to come here and try to help out as far as making plays for you, making it easy on you."
"He just said the same thing. I just want a guy that can go out and ball and have fun, enjoy himself and bring that swagger," said Watkins. "I can’t wait to work with him."