Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency: Sammy Watkins an option?

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 24: Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 24: Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins /

The Jacksonville Jaguars are likely going to sign Allen Robinson to a contract before he hits free agency, but could they go after another wide receiver as well?

Count me among the folks who aren’t the least bit worried about whether or not Allen Robinson will be playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.

Unless there’s some bad blood we haven’t heard about between the two sides, I can’t envision the Jaguars letting Robinson leave Jacksonville. Whether it’s via the franchise tag or a long term extension, Robinson is going to be in a Jaguars jersey next year.

That being said, what do the Jaguars do if Robinson does somehow walk?

In a recent article for ESPN, Pro Football Focus went through fits in free agency for each team and they made a rather surprising connection for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Sammy Watkins2017 team: Los Angeles RamsAge heading into 2018 season: 25Watkins had an interesting 2017 season, hauling in eight touchdowns despite having only 40 receptions, including the playoffs. Watkins, who dropped just one pass last season, has shown a pretty safe pair of hands since entering the NFL in 2014, dropping just 13 of the 206 catchable passes thrown his way. For a Jaguars team that could lose Allen Robinson this spring, Watkins would be the perfect fit.Backup signing: WR Mike Wallace, Baltimore RavensIf they miss out on a top wide receiver, Wallace would be a solid one-year option in Jacksonville after averaging 14.4 yards per catch in 2017."

This is an interesting connection mainly because Watkins will likely command a hefty contract in free agency, primarily because there are so many teams in need of pass catchers. Teams like the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers have young quarterbacks that need weapons and would likely overpay for Watkins.

If Robinson leaves, the Jaguars would probably look to address the position with the 29th pick in the 2018 draft as opposed to free agency.

But what if Watkins is looking to recoup his value, similar to what Alshon Jeffery did with the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason? The former top 10 pick has been a disappointment since entering the league, partially because he’s been hampered by numerous lingering injuries. If he’s willing to sign a one-year deal, Jacksonville would be an interesting spot, especially if the Jaguars are willing to part with Allen Hurns and convert his cap hit into a fully guaranteed one-year deal for Watkins.

Watkins and ARob on opposite sides with Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook as the third and fourth receivers is an enticing pass catching corps. Whether or not Watkins thinks he could put up big numbers with Blake Bortles throwing him the ball is another question.