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Bills deal Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby in separate trades

Bills deal Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby in separate trades

Bills fans may be scratching their heads and wondering what to make of this.

But they bypassed the cannonball from the side of the pool and went straight for the high dive. Woods, Watkins and Austin is a more interesting mix at the receiver position than the Rams has past year, should present more opportunities for the Ram's quarterback to make big plays, and should open up the field for Gurley. If you look at his numbers and what he's done, those aren't anything to laugh at. Receivers who can stretch the field like no one the Rams have had in years. The Bills previously acquired the Kansas City Chiefs' first-round pick when they traded down during the 2017 draft to select cornerback Tre'Davious White at No. 27.

So what exactly did the Bills get out of all this? It was his first game in New England since suspending quarterback Tom Brady in the scandal that came to be known as "Deflategate". Watkins is on the final year of his rookie contract after the Bills declined to exercise the fifth-year option on his deal.

It's not hard to see why the Bills might not be thrilled with him.

Watkins logged 2,459 yards on 153 receptions and 17 touchdowns in 37 games.

When he was on the field, though, Watkins was a stud. Having more consistent receivers will likely be a good thing for the Bills. During his rookie season, Watkins had 128 targets from Kyle Orton and E.J. The 24-year-old missed eight games last year after breaking a bone in his foot, but his yards per reception rate over his three NFL seasons is the fourth-best in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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A person familiar with the decision says Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have surgery to fix the torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the entire season.

Sammy Watkins is Hollywood bound. The fit is odd because the Bills now have what amount to three big slot receivers in Matthews, rookie Zay Jones, and new free-agent signee Anquan Boldin.

Matthews had been Philadelphia's most productive receiver, averaging 75 catches, 891 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his first three seasons. It could look something like the Tennessee Titans of last season, though similar efficiency is certainly not guaranteed. I'm very protective of our players, and it's got to be the right deal, the right situation for us to do something like this. If you've paid attention to professional football in your life, you undoubtedly know that Buffalo isn't a kind place to play once the snow begins to fall; deep threats are great only if you can get the ball to them.

Buffalo's starting receivers weren't the only two to leave the team. The two combined to catch 22 passes for 259 yards. Among 82 corners targeted 40 or more times in 2016, Gaines ranked 58th at 8.1 yards allowed per pass, while Darby was 62nd at 8.4. By that metric, Darby was 12th at 59 percent, while Gaines was 82nd at just 32 percent. Watkins' injury plagued campaign has hurt his stock, and that could be an issue that the team has with him. In exchange, the Bills sent away cornerback Ronald Darby, according to ESPN.

In each of the two trades, draft picks were involved. While we waited for a verdict on Ezekiel Elliott's 2017 season from the National Football League to continue our rankings, the Buffalo Bills made a decision to shake up the receiver rankings at the same time. But this isn't just about the upcoming season. The Bills now have two picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2018 draft, and that will give Beane plenty of ammunition to either plug multiple holes on the team, or packaging some of the picks to perhaps draft an elite quarterback. That's a nice little setup they have going on there. The team's future seemed bleak and foreboding.