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Sammy Watkins explains why he took pay cut to remain with Chiefs

The Chiefs, like any Super Bowl-winning team, had a number of unheralded stars who helped them hoist the Lombardi Trophy earlier this year, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins clearly falls into that category.

Watkins is a big-game player — a guy that could disappear in a midseason regular-season game, yet go off in the Chiefs’ biggest games in the postseason. And that’s exactly what he does. He carved up the Patriots in the 2018 AFC title game, and he made a few clutch grabs for big plays down the stretch against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, catching five passes (on an efficient six targets) for 98 yards.

But there was some talk about Watkins having been informed that he’d need to make a bit of a financial sacrifice to remain with the team, after the Chiefs awarded superstars Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones with new contracts. That essentially forced Watkins into taking a pay cut, which he decided to do. Not everyone would’ve followed suit, but Watkins did so because he values winning more than money at this stage of his career, which he recently told reporters.

“I think I’ve made enough money,” Watkins said, via the Kansas City Star. “I mean … I love more money, but as far as being smart and educated on this team, knowing that you gotta pay Pat (Mahomes), you gotta pay Chris (Jones), you got a lot of guys you gotta pay. For me to take a contract like I did was a blessing.

“Really just showing the world it’s not all about money. This is my happy place. Why not take a smaller contract and come out and play with the guys I’ve been playing with?”

The Chiefs players know this team has the makings of a dynasty, and it appears that they’re willing to take a bit less money for the chance to win more titles — similar to what the Patriots saw their guys do in the past.