ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — When Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justin Watson decided to sign as a free agent from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he know there was work to be done.
He joined a wide receiver room who at the time featured Tyreek Hill as he looked for a spot of his own on an NFL roster.
“It was a challenging decision,” Watson said. “There has always been a history of wide receivers here and as a free agent in my position, you want to go somewhere where there is a history of receivers, but also a spot for you on the team.”
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach reached out to Watson’s agent to let them know that he would get a shot at the roster in Kansas City and due to his experience on special teams, he headed to Kansas City and got to work.
“You never wanna play Kansas City when you’re playing special teams. This is always a premier unit,” Watson said. “You can feel that its important, it doesn’t even need to be said. You can just tell by how much time we put into it and the effort we put into it. I love that its always been something that’s important to me.”
Now, he is in a wide receiver room that consists of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon, among others.
Watson said he believes the final spots on the Chiefs roster will be decided by special teams. He already has garnered the attention of special teams coordinator Dave Toub and gained the trust of quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“He’s taking everything in and working hard. It’s just working in the offense. The reps that he gets are so important,” head coach Andy Reid said. “He’s working in with the ones and the quarterback, he trusts him, which is a plus. It’s just a matter of more.”
This isn’t Watson’s first time working with elite quarterback talent. In Tampa, he caught balls from Tom Brady and says he sees a lot of similarities between the two signal callers.
“Every single rep mattered so much. It didn’t matter if we were working on the field in the offseason, or if it was training camp, or in the game. That same focus and attention to detail carried over toe very single one,” Watson said. “Working with Pat, you see so many of the same characteristics. It’s no surprise that two great quarterbacks are so similar in so many ways.”