The Buffalo Bills sent shockwaves through the National Football League world Friday afternoon, announcing a trade to send former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick. In 2015, he had 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns but missed three games, and previous year he missed half the season with a foot injury and had 430 yards and two touchdowns. Those injuries were, McDermott said earlier this camp, the only reason the organization decided this offseason not to pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins' rookie contract.
The Bills now have two picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2018 draft.
"This is not a throw-in-the-towel thing at all", Beane said. In exchange for Watkins and Darby, they did acquire needed position players but also two future draft picks. Jordan Matthews is a starting receiver. Over his career, he's had 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. "Everybody's forgetting we signed Anquan (Boldin) last week". In Philly, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith were both brought in during the offseason, Zach Ertz is a steady target at tight end, Nelson Agholor is still hanging around and rookie Mack Hollins looks like a legitimate talent. His numbers were outstanding in just 13 games two years ago (60 catches for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns), but it was his lone 1,000-yard season. And he'll provide a huge upgrade for Jared Goff, as the 2016 draft's No. 1 overall pick tries to find his footing in the NFL.More news: Judge Rules 'Alt-Right' Rally Should Go Forward as Planned
Though he wasn't shopping either player, Beane said he first began receiving inquiries about Watkins in June.
The deals come just a day after the Bills had their first preseason game of the year, a loss to the Vikings. "I think his vertical presence and even just his threat and his name, I think will allow defenses to play us different, because you always have to have someone over the top of him". He said he didn't sleep much last night.
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby were sent packing in two separate trades within minutes of each other, and it left the Bills with a collective, wide-eyed look as they convened for a short practice. Those injury issues have been a continuous problem for the Bills since he was drafted, and it's likely that those medical concerns played a part in the Bills trade decision. Watkins joins Woods and slot receiver Cooper Kupp in three-receiver sets, putting Tavon Austin's role on the team in serious question.