Sammy Watkins puts Chiefs on notice with ‘World War III’ threat

Sammy Watkins believes he’s either in for a breakout season or a war.

The wide receiver made it clear he doesn’t want to take a backseat in the Chiefs’ offense anymore, even after coming off a Super Bowl win in February.

“I’m praying and hope they do right by me if I go back,” Watkins told Bleacher Report in March for a story that was published Tuesday. “If they don’t, it’s going to be World War III. Seriously. Because I feel like I’ve been doing everything in my power to stay positive, to continue to uplift everybody on the team. To put myself last, to literally always put myself last.”

Watkins also promised he wouldn’t take a pay cut, though he eventually did, as the Chiefs restructured his deal in April to lower his salary to $9 million this season. The 26-year-old could make up to $16 million in incentives after making a combined $34 million over the last two years.

Still, Watkins insisted he needed 100 targets, 1,000-plus yards and 12 touchdowns this season, according to the article. Last fall, Watkins was the third-leading pass catcher on the Chiefs (behind tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill), making 52 catches on 90 targets for 673 yards and three touchdowns.

In six years in the NFL, Watkins has only had one 1,000-yard season, racking up 1,047 receiving yards in his second year with the Bills after being the No. 4 pick in the 2014 draft.

Watkins had a strong playoff performance last season for the Chiefs, recording 25 catches for 487 yards and a touchdown in three wins. That included a seven-catch, 114-yard, one-touchdown effort against the Titans in the AFC Championship, which Watkins told Bleacher Report he manifested.

While Watkins’ expectations remain high — he believes he has eight more seasons, two more Super Bowls and a ticket to the Hall of Fame — he claimed he has been underappreciated in Kansas City. He sensed “bad energy” from teammates and coaches and believed there were staff members “who’d rather lose than see him succeed.”

“It’s sad. It’s sad. It’s unbelievably sad,” Watkins says. “I’ve been exposed to it.”

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