Bills ship Sammy Watkins to Rams, get Jordan Matthews from Eagles

Buffalo Bills invest in future by trading Ronald Darby, Sammy Watkins

The Los Angeles Rams made a big move to acquire Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills.

Watkins and a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 are on the way to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and the Rams' second-round pick in 2018. A separate deal with the Philadelphia Eagles saw the Bills getting a third-round pick next year in return for cornerback Ronald Darby.

Watkins was a first-round draft pick in 2014 and had 153 catches for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons with the Bills. Woods, Watkins and Austin is a more interesting mix at the receiver position than the Rams has a year ago, should present more opportunities for the Ram's quarterback to make big plays, and should open up the field for Gurley. Jordan Matthews is a starting receiver. The Bills paid a hefty price to draft him in 2014, switching places with the Browns (No. 9 to No. 4) while also giving the Browns their 2015 first-round pick to ensure they could pick Watkins.

Among 41 wide receivers with 100 or more targets last season, Matthews was 38th in Reception NEP, despite being 26th in targets and tied for 23rd in receptions.

The 24-year-old is scheduled for free agency in the spring, meaning the Rams are taking a considerable gamble in sending Gaines and a second-round pick to Buffalo for potentially one year of Watkins if he leaves.

Bringing in Watkins also gives Goff another experienced receiver to go with Woods and Tavon Austin, who has been limited in training camp with a hamstring injury. The team's future seemed bleak and foreboding.

New head coach Sean McVay, regarded as an up-and-coming offensive savant, was hired. You don't know me if you think I'm throwing in the towel. Even with Matthews and Boldin in town, Jones, who holds the FBS record for career receptions (399), is in a better spot.

Watkins joins back up with teammate Robert Woods, who the Rams signed this offseason. It was telling that he chose not to aggressively pursue a new contract with Matthews. The counter would be that Matthews is a slot receiver - not an exceptionally explosive one relative to some others out there - and paying big money for a player who might end up being the team's third receiving option doesn't make sense, especially if they want to extend Alshon Jeffery beyond this year. He is now dealing with knee tendinitis, which kept him from practicing for a good portion of the spring. Colt Anderson and Shamiel Gary are the only safeties remaining from 2016 and neither is a complete lock to make the team's final roster. This month alone, the Bills signed veteran wideout Anquan Boldin - ninth in National Football League history with 1,076 career receptions.



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