Sammy Watkins Traded To Rams; Bills Acquire Jordan Matthews In Separate Trade

Henrietta Strickland
August 12, 2017

The two biggest trades so far this preseason happened simultaneously today, as the Bills announced a trade with the Rams and a related trade with the Eagles.

For now, that looks like good work from first-year general manager Brandon Beane, who was a candidate for the 49ers' opening last winter before they settled on John Lynch.

The Bills acquired CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick from the Rams in exchange for wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a 2018 sixth-round pick.

Taylor took a $10 million pay cut in March to stay with the Bills, saying at the time he was putting his trust in management to fill in pieces around him after Taylor dealt with a lackluster group of receivers over his first two seasons as the starter.

Watkins had been the Bills starter since Buffalo traded up five spots in the 2014 draft to select him with the No. 4 pick. The move gives young quarterback Jared Goff a new weapon now, and the change may be good for Watkins in the long run. So, they essentially swapped Watkins, Darby, and a 6th-rounder for Gaines, Matthews, a 2nd-round pick, and a 3rd-rounder.

And for the Eagles, this was about making the defense better right away: Darby should help immediately.

As for Darby, who finished second in voting for defensive rookie of the year in 2015, he has two years remaining on his contract.

Watkins and Matthews will both become unrestricted free agents in March.

Buffalo's overall approach with these trades, and specifically the loss of Watkins, can not sit well with starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Photo In three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Sammy Watkins had 153 receptions for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns. His speed, size, and ability to make catches in traffic should have Rams fans, who watched an abysmal offense past year, excited.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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