Justin Watson Finds His Career Reborn With Kansas City

February 11th, 2024

Former Bucs WR Justin Watson goes for No. 2.

Sometimes all a guy needs is consistent opportunities. Just ask former Bucs receiver Justin Watson, who will be playing tonight for the Chiefs in Watson’s effort to win a third Super Bowl ring.

His first ring was with the Bucs in 2020.

Watson was a speedy receiver out of Penn the Bucs selected in the fifth round in 2018. A couple of years later, Watson was fortunate to just get on the field. He was caught in a logjam at receiver.

Ahead of him on the depth chart was Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson.

Joe wasn’t trying to irk Watson at Super Bowl Opening Night last week at the Raiders’ Roomba in Las Vegas. But Watson did wince when Joe asked him if his limited chances to get on the field in 2020 was due to a top-heavy receivers room.

“I think there was probably a lot of work that went unnoticed in Tampa,” Watson said. “I was probably in a 2 1/2-year period where I was working everyday.

“I never got to play on Sundays at receiver. So it was cool when I got [with the Chiefs] that so much work I finally got to show the product.”

A bad situation got worse the following season when Watson blew out a knee right before the 2021 season. He spent most of the year on injured reserve before the Bucs released him during the playoffs in January 2022.

Maybe because teams thought he was damaged goods or maybe teams were underwhelmed, but Watson said prior to the 2022 season, just one team was interested in him.

That was the Chiefs and Andy Reid.

Since, Watson has turned around his career. Joe admits to not watching a lot of Chiefs games but Joe notices Watson making a play in just about every game.

So Joe asked Watson if Reid was responsible for saving his NFL career.

“I think so,” Watson said. “My last year in Tampa I was hurt. I injured my knee before the season started. I spent a lot of the year on IR.

“And so after that year, the Chiefs were the only team that gave me a call. They were the only team that wanted to sign me.

“So to see them give me a chance, not just to give me a jersey, but a fair shot at contributing to this offense, I will always be grateful to Andy Reid and the Chiefs.”

Watson, obviously, didn’t want to dwell too much on his time with the Bucs. It’s a chapter in his past life. No need to re-read it.

“It’s been a fun journey,” Watson said. “I love this team. I hope I can play with the Chiefs the rest of my career.”

Watson finished the regular season with 27 catches, tied with Kadarius Toney for second-most among Chiefs wide receivers.

32 Responses to “Justin Watson Finds His Career Reborn With Kansas City”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Watson was a very good 6th round pick…….unfortunately, he screwed up a couple of passes from Brady & was sidelined…..he did perform very well on ST.

    I’d love to have him back as our number 5 receiver…..

  2. Jerseybuc Says:

    Sorry but average at best. KC barely has any wideouts is why he’s playing but sorry Watson you ain’t it

  3. westernbuc Says:

    So another Licht pick hit, it just took time.

  4. Razor Ramone Says:

    I remember he wasn’t TB12’s favorite guy.

  5. FrontFour Says:

    I recall a season where Watson got lots of targets and looked like he was running scared, worried about getting hit.

  6. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Justin Watson……boy you’re really reaching for content today Joe.

  7. Usfbucs Says:

    Happy for him to have found a place to play. Really his role is WR3 and he puts up decent stats for a WR3

  8. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Brady benched him.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Tom Bradys pick 6 in the game 1 2020 against the Saints was a pass to Justin, and then Tom threw another pick later in the year, again it was on a pass to Justin, both times Justin messed up his route. After that Justin was in the Dog House big time with Tom. Justin was gone when the season ended.

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Actually it was 2 pick 6’s that Tom threw, on passes to Justin, both times, because Justin messed up the route. Not good when the GOAT is the QB

  11. Jmarkbuc Says:

    So he might have three rings at the end of this day

    Mike has one. Crazy how things work out.

    Watson becoming the Robert Horry of the NFL. 🤣

  12. Beeej Says:

    Yup, he was the cause of 2 pick-6’s Ave Brady froze him out

  13. PewterStiffArm Says:

    He was persona non grata after dropping a few of Brady’s passes. He has the speed and the body to be successful. But once you get into Brady’s dog house it is hard to get loose from the tethered leash. The GOAT can make or break your career, Watson could have been good for us. Timing is everything in this league and maybe Justin can put together a few productive year’s. I am rooting for him to succeed, but not tonight. I’m sick of Mahomes and Taylor Swift plastered all over the place.

  14. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Brady didn’t trust him from game 1 against the saints and that pick on his lazy out route

  15. stpetebucfan Says:

    So I guess we’re all rooting for the Kansas City Bucs!

    Not hard for me. The ONLY thing I like about the Niners is Lynch, and the beautiful city. I admire a lot of their players like McCaffery and Bosa but I just can’t really get on board.

    I’m actually rooting more for a good game than which team wins. I just hope it’s close and that no mistakes or referees affect the outcome.

  16. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    ME13’s guaranteed first ballot HOF Gold Jacket in the future who the great Ira Kaufman will present, 70 plus catches a season, the only player in NFL History to ever have 10 straight seasons of 1,000 yards per season receiving which not even the Great One Jerry Rice could do that, and 1 Super Bowl Ring > inferior 27 catches and 460 Yard Justin Watson.

  17. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Because as a .465 career journeyman,”

    One part fact and one part your bs opinion! Yes technically Baker is .465. Who did he play for…the freaking Browns and the Panthers and a Rams squad decimated by injuries. But you not a deep enough thinker to embrace nuance right.

    Journeyman is just your absurd OPINION. Baker was second in rookie of the year balloting…his peers, not a keyboard warrior, selected him 50th on the players list of the top 100. The Browns were 1-31 in the two years prior to Baker. In just three years he had them in the playoffs WINNING ON THE ROAD
    Then he repeats that feat for a “rebuilding” Bucs team that just lost the GOAT and a slew of other talented players…4 of whom are playing today in the SB.

    Oh but there’s perenniel benchwarmer Kyle Trask who has yet to ELEVATE his game to even journeyman status.

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    This guy was constantly injured in Tampa…

    Can’t make the club if you are sitting in the tub.

  19. CTBucs Says:

    When you play scared and drop balls, Brady will get you benched. Happy he’s still in the league, but his time with the Bucs ran out. Good luck in the SB Justin, Mike, and Donovan., Go (former) Bucs!

  20. Bee Says:


    I couldn’t agree more. Baker isn’t terrible but I don’t he has what it takes to elevate the team which is what’s needed in the playoffs. Bakers last pass of the season shows that. But we’ll see I guess.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    And if he was still a Buccaneer – he would still be the 5th or 6th receiver and would still be playing Special Teams on Sundays.

    KC is HURTING for receiving talent this year – probably for $ reasons which is why they had to let Cheetah Hill walk in free agency.

    27 catches – and Watson is the 2nd leading receiver on the team?? Ouch.

    That’s 1.58 catches per game.

    I saw multiple drops by Watson as well in the 7 or 8 KC games I watched this year.

    I’m not dogging on the guy – he’s having a great career for a 5th round pick – just saying it wasn’t a big loss to the Bucs when Justin moved on like some are trying to say….

  22. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Some of us thought he should’ve been on the field a lot. And Reed has an act for seeing Talent. Just as those who passed on drafting Patrick Mahomes.

  23. adam from ny Says:

    yeah he fell out of favor very early on with brady – as brady was kind of evaluating his guys and their performances…

    he might have caused brady to toss a pic 6 or actually did cause one…

    then he almost caused a second one i think – and he was done…

    my memory is a bit hazy on how that all played out now, but it was bad for watson, and brady basically never threw to him again…

    i always was waiting for watson to blossom a bit – then when tommy b got here, and watson faltered, it was over like rover…

    if the chiefs win tonight, the dude is stacking rings tho !!

  24. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    Don’t get me wrong I loved Brady but Brady killed Watsons career in Tampa. I remember ME13 saying a couple times how much potential Watson had. Brady really struggled giving Bucs receivers much of a chance. Brown and Gronk dominated when they were here. Evans numbers went back to where they were pre Brady this year.

  25. Beeej Says:

    SPEAKING of Cheetah Hill—Mahome’s cap hit THIS year is $37 million, NEXT year will be $57 million, next year is $60. THIS is why their offense was so average this year, couldn’t afford any decent receivers. Brady figured that out 15 years ago

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would like it is Brock got a ring. Kid is a real underdog story!

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Thisisouryear!! Says
    “Don’t get me wrong I loved Brady but Brady killed Watsons career in Tampa.”

    As I recall, it was injuries that killed it in Tampa.

    If you are talking about the two picks? Both were on Watson as well.

    So he killed his own chances here.

  28. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    the day we cut him i was ticked off. was just the guy we needed solid low cost hands guy. maybe we thot his injury was worse than it was

  29. garro Says:

    I really wanted him to stick in Tampa.

    He made plays in preseson games as I remember. Great hands!
    We could use him now as a matter of fact.

    Go Bucs!

  30. Statguy Says:

    They also have Skyy “helmet dink” Moore on the team

  31. unbelievable Says:

    Another solid late round pick from Licht.

    Not a world beater, and certainly not a WR1. But a solid role player for a 6th round pick, who now has 2 SB rings

  32. Ed Says:

    I’ve watched some Chief games where in contested catch situations Watson lost focus and dropped the ball or didn’t get into the right position to catch it. He is by no means sure handed.