Bills Trade Watkins To Rams, Acquire Matthews From Eagles

11:15am

The Bills did however, acquire two players who could potentially fill those roles in Jordan Matthews and E.J.

The 24-year-old was the number four overall pick of the 2014 draft as the Bills traded up to make him the top wide receiver taken ahead of Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr, his selection coming immediately before that of Oakland Raiders pass-rushing star Khalil Mack. The Bills originally had the ninth overall selection but, traded up to fourth with the Cleveland Browns to select Watkins.

With that being said, it's pretty easy to see that the moves were made to benefit Buffalo in the long-term. First-year Bills coach Sean McDermott avoided using that rebuilding label for his team this offseason but it can be slapped on the 2017 Bills, who have clearly sacrificed short-term gain for potential long-term success. Matthews is also entering the final season of his contract, so the Eagles also faced the possibility of losing him in free agency. He won a starting job in 2015 but then got hurt before the season started.

Gaines had become expendable for the Rams after the offseason signings of cornerbacks Kayvon Webster and Nickell Robey-Coleman.

The Rams were dead last in yards and scoring last season. Watkins can be that type of dynamic threat when healthy.

Trades don't happen too often in the National Football League once the preseason begins, but the Buffalo Bills don't care.

Watkins logged 2,459 yards on 153 receptions and 17 touchdowns in 37 games.

Watkins has been dealing with a foot injury that limited the wide receiver to just eight games a year ago after having an operation to fix a broken foot.

For Watkins, it marks a decisive career shift away from Buffalo, a team that tried to make it work with the player they traded up for in the first round of the 2014 draft.

Brandon Beane is under the impression that the Buffalo can have it both ways - that they can succeed this year while also building throughout the draft.

Darby started 29 games in his first two seasons in Buffalo.

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