When it comes to the biggest questions surrounding the Los Angeles Rams over the next few weeks, whether to bring Sammy Watkins back is near the top of that list.
Even though it’s only the beginning of March, the offseason has already been filled with plenty of excitement for the Los Angeles Rams thanks to the agreement to trade for Marcus Peters along with Thursday’s news of how the team is expected to move on from Tavon Austin. After emerging out of nowhere last season to win the NFC, now the pressure is on Sean McVay and the Rams to make sure they avoid taking a step back in 2018 by remaining serious contenders in the NFC.
Before that time comes, Los Angeles has a handful of decisions to consider from now until the start of training camp, including what to do about Sammy Watkins on offense. Last August, the Rams pulled off a huge surprise out of nowhere by acquiring the speedy wideout from the Buffalo Bills to provide Jared Goff with a reliable deep threat, but there were some fans who believe the team would be just fine without him.
When looking at the fact that Watkins only caught 39 passes all of last season for 593 yards with eight touchdowns, it’s easy to understand why certain fans believe Los Angeles would be better off spending their money elsewhere, such as Lamarcus Joyner at safety. However, the Rams also realize that due to Watkins drawing extra attention from defenders at times, the wideout’s presence helped pave the way for other receivers like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp seeing additional passes thrown in their direction.
Not to mention, it should also be noted that since Watkins was traded to Los Angeles during preseason, the wideout was somewhat at a disadvantage from not having an entire offseason to learn McVay’s system. So when McVay sounds confident enough in putting Watkins in better position to succeed more if he were to return for another season, the Rams may feel a little extra determination to make sure it happens.
Unfortunately, money could very well end up being a deciding factor when it comes to whether Watkins returns since there will be plenty of other teams looking to fill a need at receiver that would love to have the former Clemson star come on board for the 2018 season. But if the feeling ends up being mutual after seeing how successful Los Angeles’ offense was during McVay’s first year as head coach, Watkins could potentially see his game hit a whole new level in year two with the Rams.