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#pounditWednesday, March 3, 2021

Bills trade Sammy Watkins, acquire Jordan Matthews in separate deals

Sammy Watkins

The Buffalo Bills announced two major moves on Friday, both involving wide receivers and cornerbacks.

First the team announced that they have traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick.

After losing a wide receiver and adding a cornerback in the Watkins deal, the Bills did the opposite in another trade. They traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick.

The trades confirm the Bills’ disappointment with Watkins. A former No. 4 overall pick, Watkins has been bothered by multiple foot injuries during his career, though he has been productive when healthy. Matthews was a second-round pick by Philly in 2014 — the same draft class as Watkins. He has been on the field more frequently than Watkins, while also being productive (he has scored 19 touchdowns in 46 games).

The Bills found some stability when they added veteran receiver Anquan Boldin to the mix, and they probably feel Watkins is not worth the gamble if they can have Matthews and Boldin in the offense. Defensively they are giving up Darby for Gaines. Gaines has had injury troubles and is a question mark as he played 11 games last season.

The Bills’ secondary has no doubt gotten worse between the loss of Stephon Gilmore in free agency and Darby now, but at least they have picked up two draft picks for next season. You have to respect their recent maneuvering.

And the Rams, which lacked major offensive weapons, finally have one in Watkins, so long as he can stay on the field.


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