In the shadow of news that Ezekiel Elliott had been suspended, the Buffalo Bills pulled off two stunning trades on Friday.
The Bill sent former first-round pick Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick in 2018 to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in 2018, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
In a second move, they acquired wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in 2018 from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby, according to Adam Schefter.
Watkins is one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL when healthy but he’s struggled to stay on the field in recent years and he hasn’t been consistent. Meanwhile, Darby was the Bills’ second-round pick at the 2015 NFL Draft and he has started 29 games in Buffalo the past two seasons.
Matthews had been something of a disappointment for the Eagles after coming in a second-round pick at the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s caught 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns, but his inconsistency and his lack of focus was an issue in Philadelphia.
Gaines was originally a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Rams. He’s played in 26 games, making 25 starts in three seasons with the franchise.
Both Matthews and Gaines will have an opportunity to come in and compete for vacancies created by the departures of Watkins and Darby, while the Bills will also add a pair of high-value draft picks.