The Kansas City Chiefs coveted then-Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins last summer during training camp, according to Chiefs GM Brett Veach.
Veach, then the team's co-director of player personnel under GM John Dorsey, said the Chiefs called Bills General Manager Brandon Beane "a lot" to see if they could swing a trade to get Watkins.
Watkins was eventually traded to the Rams along with a 2018 sixth-round pick in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick. Both Watkins and Gaines were entering the final year of their respective contracts.
“I don’t think it ever got close," he said. "I was calling Brandon Beane at Buffalo a lot and he made it clear that this is an immensely talented player, have to get at least a (second-round pick).
"(For the Chiefs) not having a (first-round pick) and then coming back in the draft not having a (second-round pick) would’ve been difficult. But we sure tried. It didn’t work out but we never lost sight of the player and again, we didn’t know what was going to happen in regards to the (franchise) tag. But when they (Los Angeles Rams) decided not to tag him, we went all in.”
Watkins signed with the Chiefs when free agency began last week, getting a three-year, $48 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Watkins said he was impressed with Chiefs fans when the Bills played at Arrowhead Stadium in 2015. Watkins caught two touchdowns in that game.
"I feel like I fed off these fans and the stadium and the atmosphere," he said. "Of course you’ve got a Hall of Famer in coach Andy Reid, you have Patrick Mahomes, you have so many other players, Travis Kelce, so many other guys that have already been here and have been doing great things. Me, I’m just coming here to have fun and add my ability is really why I chose here.”