Sammy Watkins has quite a personality.
Watkins, who made one of the biggest plays in the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV win, opened up to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne about pretty much everything. He shared his thoughts on reincarnation, how spirits move through people, evil forces, teleportation and aliens. He even speculated, as Dunne wrote, that when a teammate was mistaken that he scored a touchdown when someone else did, that perhaps his “soul had leaped into the player who actually scored.”
It’s a wild ride of a story, to say the least. It’s worth the read to get a handle on one of the NFL’s unique characters. One part that will resonate with NFL fans is Watkins describing the lifestyle that caused him to flame out with the Buffalo Bills after he was the fourth pick of the draft.
Sammy Watkins partied every night in Buffalo
Watkins’ story is a familiar one in the category of draft busts.
Buffalo traded future first- and fourth-round picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up from No. 9 to No. 4 in the 2014 draft to take Watkins. Watkins was considered an exceptional prospect coming out of Clemson. He went ahead of Khalil Mack, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald, among others.
Watkins, who detailed his tough upbringing in Florida for Dunne, said he had friends follow him to Buffalo and he’d go partying "every night,” drinking and smoking.
"I would go out and get wasted," he told Dunne. "Wasted wasted."
Then he’d go to practice early in the morning.
He believes now that treating his body that way led to the many injuries everyone in Buffalo remembers. Watkins couldn’t stay healthy. He sunk into a depression. He shut everyone out. He felt bad about letting everyone down, from the Bills to his family back in Florida, and told Dunne he had a routine of drinking alone until 4 a.m., sleeping two hours and then waking up at 6 a.m. to start again.
The pressure an NFL player faces is real, especially a high draft pick.
"I don't think the world knows what athletes go through off the field," Watkins told Dunne. "We have family. We have lives. You have good and bad in your family. I'm like f--king Jesus in my family. I was putting family before football. I wasn't focused on football. I was like: 'F--k football. I have to figure out how I'm going to put my family in a position to be successful or not to get killed or not to get in a situation where they can go to jail.'
"I was fighting a war outside of football."
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins shared his thoughts on a number of topics. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Watkins’ career rebounded after trade
Things got worse for Watkins in Buffalo. He kept getting hurt, and contemplated retirement. He wanted out of Buffalo and the Bills traded him to the Los Angeles Rams, which helped his career. While he has never turned into a star, he had a solid season for the Rams and then has been a key player for the Chiefs the past two seasons.
He had a meandering rant to Dunne about the Chiefs and needing more stats after being selfless the past couple seasons, but after reading the whole story it’s hard to know what’s real or what’s in Watkins’ head at that moment.
"This is how I view Sammy," Chiefs receiver Felton Davis told Bleacher Report. "He's a very quiet guy. But if you ever saw the old guy that may be homeless who—you're like, 'He doesn't know anything'—and he literally may know everything. You'll walk past him, and he'll hit you with a quote, a quick little quote, and you're like: 'Man … what? What Sammy?'"
Watkins’ random thoughts and wild proclamations will be what lingers from Dunne’s story. Hopefully he can keep fighting off the evil forces to have a long NFL career.
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