Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Bills trade Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby in massive shakeup

Bills trade Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby in massive shakeup

The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams have completed a trade that sends wide receiver Sammy Watkins to Southern California.

Buffalo also traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. The latest Bills news and rumors have indicated that the team participated in two different trades as of Friday. From the Eagles: A third-year player out of Florida State, Darby was originally drafted by the Bills in the second round (50th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. There were just 26 wide receivers who saw at least a 20 percent share of their teams targets past year, and with the company surrounding Matthews, it's hard to say he'd even get that. Buffalo now has two picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. He ranks first in receptions (225) and third in receiving yards (2,673) among all-time Eagles in their first three years, and is one of only five players in National Football League history with 65-plus receptions and 800-plus receiving yards in each of their first three seasons, joining a club that includes Randy Moss, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans and A.J. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder had 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. Through his first two seasons Darby has only missed three games with 137 tackles, 33 passes defensed, and two interceptions. "Watkins" time in Buffalo, however, was hampered by injuries, particularly in 2016.

The Bills recently declined their fifth-year contract option on Watkins, so he is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. The two-year defender enjoyed a solid rookie season in 2015 under head coach Rex Ryan.

He joins a secondary that lacks top-notch cornerbacks.

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That will give them at a minimum six selections in the top 100 of the draft, plus if they get any compensatory selection for the loss of Stephon Gillmore, and potentially four of those picks could be top 40 selections.

While they've done it with different quarterbacks, here's a WR vs. WR comparison for the last three years between Matthews and Watkins, both part of the class of 2014.

Talk and rumors about the Eagles' possibly trading Matthews have been floating for months and it's those rumors - true or not - that actually led to the Eagles' receiving calls about him, Roseman said. Insane how close you can get with someone in a year.

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