NFL AM: Is Sammy Watkins Being Used Correctly In Buffalo?


Is Sammy Watkins Right?

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins made news Friday when he voiced displeasure about his lack of use and lack of targets to the Buffalo News.

“I need the ball at least 10 times — I need 10 targets — and l’ll be fine with however many yards I get,” Watkins told The Buffalo News this week. “And that’s what I addressed in talking with my agent. We reached out to a couple people and tried to pull some string like, ‘Hey, I need my targets. You came up to draft me and I’m not getting targets — that’s a problem.’

“‘You’re making me look bad, and you’re making yourself look bad. Why not make both of us look good?'”

It’s clear that Watkins is the most talented player on the Bills offense and he should get more targets.

In that respect he has a viable point.

What Watkins is missing is the most important ability a football player can have, and that’s “availability.”

The former fourth-overall pick is currently battling a calf injury and when he’s griping about usage without being on the football field, it tends to fall on deaf ears and it gives him a label as “another diva wide receiver.”

Watkins hasn’t been active since the team’s Week 3 win against the Miami Dolphins and during his short tenure he’s sustained six different injuries that’s slowed him down.

In the first two games of the season, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor Percy Harvin and Charles Clay as much as Watkins.

“For a guy you go up in the draft to take as your No. 1 receiver, you would love those 15 targets that Julio (Jones) gets, those 20 targets that Odell (Beckham Jr.) gets,” Watkins said. “Of course, I’d have 100 yards every game and a TD if I’m getting 20 targets.”

Watkins finished with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns last season as a rookie.

“Everybody looks at you getting zero catches, zero yards, but when you look on film, 90 percent of the time you’re open,” Watkins said. “I understand that these guys are young and they need some time to trust me. Once we get that trust, it’ll be different.

“That’s what I get mad at: when I don’t get looked at. I can look at film, and his eyes go straight that way and I’m not getting looked at, at all. That’s when I get frustrated. When I have one-on-one coverage, go to me. I don’t care what’s going on over there. I don’t care if he’s open. When I get one-on-one, just target me.”

Watkins was the first receiver taken in what could be a legendary wide receiver class of 2014 that includes Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Jarvis Landry and Jordan Matthews, among others.

Watkins hasn’t been as productive as many of those receivers and injuries combined with erratic quarterback play have been a key factor.

The former Clemson all-american may have a point.  He might be the most talented of all of those receivers mentioned, but when you’re on the sideline, it’s tough to talk about getting more targets.

Manziel Pulled Over

We transition from one NFL player complaining publicly about not getting targeted enough to another who is targeted too much.

Cleveland Browns former first-round pick and backup quarterback Johnny Manziel was pulled over Friday by police for reportedly arguing with his girlfriend.

According to the report, both the quarterback and his girlfriend, a student at TCU were drinking.

Manziel checked himself into a rehab facility in the offseason to try and deal with some issues that plagued him throughout his young adult life, and the fact that he was drinking doesn’t exactly send a great message to his employer.

With that said, Manziel did nothing to break the law and he’s conducted himself as a perfect citizen and teammate this season.  This situation does not seem to warrant any further action by the Browns.

Great Day Of College Football Awaits

There’s an amazing slate of college football on television today as we have plenty of ranked teams squaring off.  We’re going to look at the best matchups and times for your viewing pleasure.


Louisville vs. FSU- ESPN

Ole Miss vs. Memphis- ABC/ESPN 2

Iowa vs. Northwestern- ABC/ESPN 2


Alabama vs. Texas A & M- CBS

Michigan State vs. Michigan- ESPN


Florida vs. LSU- ESPN


USC vs. Notre Dame- NBC


Arizona State vs. Utah- ESPN

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.