The trades were announced minutes apart on Twitter:
We've acquired CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 2nd round pick from the Rams for WR Sammy Watkins and a 2018 6th round pick. pic.twitter.com/jssDP1sVBw— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 11, 2017
Altogether, the trade nets the Bills second-round and third-round picks in 2018 but leaves the roster in a lesser state for the 2017 season. Matthews has been a relatively productive receiver in Philadelphia, but he doesn’t bring the big play ability that Watkins does.
Watkins’ health problems were his main issue in Buffalo, though. He’s struggled to stay on the field since his rookie season, and the trade to Los Angeles is a case of the Bills giving up on him as a long-term piece.
He sat out of eight games last year, and even before then, he wasn’t playing up to par. When healthy, he’s among the most explosive receivers in the league, but his health has held him back from being great. The Rams now get a chance with him if he ever returns to full form, as the team continues to try to pile up weapons for 2016 No. 1 pick Jared Goff.
Earlier in the offseason, the Rams signed Robert Woods as a free agent, and now he’ll be reunited with Watkins.