Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who added a Super Bowl title to his resume last season, has come a long way since fighting his demons during his time with the Buffalo Bills.
Watkins was the number 4 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and was beaten by players like Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr, so he had a lot to live for as a member of a hungry point guard franchise of play.
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That said, Watkins’ tenure in Buffalo ended before the 2017 season. In a story published in Bleacher Report, Watkins spoke of his battles with the Bills, which included battles against alcohol and depression.
“I was going out and I was getting lost,” Watkins told the website. “Wasted wasted. “
Even though he was partying every night, Watkins still managed to put together solid numbers as a rookie. He broke the Bills’ rookie record with 65 receptions and 982 receiving yards for six touchdown receptions. The following season, he posted career highs in yards with 1,047 receiving and touchdown yards, while finding the finish area nine times. However, in his last season with the Bills, injuries limited Watkins to just eight games, and they decided to trade him with the Los Angeles Rams before the start of 2017.
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Watkins admitted he even considered retirement when he broke a bone in his third season with Buffalo.
“Literally, I question everything in my life:” Am I supposed to do this? Is this my goal? Is it a sign for me to quit football? Said Watkins. “That’s what God tells me. I felt like he was telling me to stop. Stopped.
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“I don’t think the world knows what athletes are going through off the field,” added Watkins. “We have family. We have lives. You have good and bad in your family. I am like the f – king Jesus in my family. I put family before football. I didn’t focus on football. I was like, “F – k football. I have to understand how I am going to put my family in a position to succeed, not to be killed or not to find themselves in a situation where they can go to prison.
“I was fighting a war outside of football.”