(TNS) — Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has talked about the importance of getting new quarterback Patrick Mahomes some speed at receiver and becoming faster on defense, too, and they're moving aggressively to fix both issues.
The Chiefs on Tuesday agreed to terms with free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins and free-agent inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens, a source confirmed to The Star.
Watkins, 24, has agreed to a three-year deal worth $48 million and $30 guaranteed. Watkins was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2014, when he was taken fourth overall. He was traded to the Rams last year and recorded 39 catches for 593 yards and eight touchdowns.
His best professional season, at least statistically, came in 2015, when he caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Those yardage and touchdown totals were career-highs in spite of the fact that he missed four games with a calf strain and ankle sprain.
The following year he missed eight games with a foot fracture and finished with just 28 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns.
Hitchens, 25, has agreed to a five-year deal worth approximately $9 million per year, a source with knowledge of the contract confirmed. Listed at 6 feet 1 and 234 pounds, Hitchens was a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. He recorded 84 tackles and two pass deflections in 12 games last season last season but has started 48 games over the last four years.
ESPN reported the Watkins news first, while NFL Network reported the Hitchens news first. Both moves can be finalized at 3 p.m. Wednesday, when the new league year begins.