The Buffalo Bills have officially made a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, sending Sammy Watkins and a sixth round pick to the Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second round pick. Watkins’ fifth year option was declined earlier in the offseason, and he is currently on the last year of his contract.
Additionally, in a separate trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills acquired Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third round pick for cornerback Ronald Darby.
Ian Rapoport was the first to report the trade, and he was as shocked as anybody.
The Bills didn't stop there though, they announced a trade for Jordan Matthews almost simultaneously.
Impact for the Bills
The Bills just lost their go-to number one wide receiver, so who steps into the new role? The logical replacement is Jordan Matthews, who would most likely have to go to the outside instead of his slot position he had with the Eagles. Matthews played outside receiver in college, and he had great success there, so it shouldn't be a problem for him changing his role.
Newly acquired Anquan Boldin doesn't necessarily have the speed to play on the outside anymore, plus he succeeded in the slot last year with the Lions, so Boldin will likely hold down the slot role.
These trades have sent shock waves through the NFL, and we'll have a new look Bills team this season. The passing game may not have been prolific with Watkins and the old regime, so it'll be interesting to see the impact the new guys will have.
This looks like a more long term play, as pointed out by Ian Rapoport.
It appears that the Bills have entered a bit of a rebuilding mode, and next year's draft could be huge for the Bills if they make their picks count.
Defensively, moving on from Ronald Darby is curious. He is owed just $1.8 million over this season and the next before hitting free agency, and was a good player for them over the last two years.
EJ Gaines can immediately take Darby's place in the depth chart, but he is also a 2018 free agent, with the Bills now owing him $1.8 million for this season before he hits the open market.
Impact for the Rams
Jared Goff will have a brand new toy to play with in the likely new number one receiver, Sammy Watkins. Watkins becomes far and away the biggest weapon on that offense, both literally and figuratively. Todd Gurley has the potential to be the best weapon, but after last year's lack luster performance, he still has much to prove.
While I'm not overly excited for Watkins in LA, there are going to be footballs to catch, and he'll likely see a ton of targets. If Kenny Britt could get 1000 yards in this offense, why couldn't Watkins see similar success?
I'm not sure what Watkins ceiling could be in LA, but he'll likely still be a volume receiver out of necessity. I imagine his fantasy value will go down initially, and we'll have to see the relationship between him and Goff to really assess this situation.
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