June 20, 2018

Bills trade WR Watkins to Rams, acquire WR Matthews

12 August 2017, 10:12 | Darnell Patrick

Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews

Yet the Rams' biggest splash came this week when they acquired injury-prone gamebreaker Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills. The Vanderbilt product was a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The abundance of draft picks allows Buffalo to secure a safe selection in one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory, with the likes of USC's Sam Darnold or OSU's Mason Rudolph giving solace to Beane's claim that the Bills will "try to win today and win tomorrow".

Matthews has 225 receptions out of 349 targets. Indeed, Matthews is one of only five receivers in National Football League history to catch at least 65 balls and post at least 800 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons - and he did that with a merry-go-round at quarterback in Philly. But they immediately replaced Watkins in a separate trade for Philadelphia Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews. If he can find the right podiatrist to keep his always-achy feet healthy, Watkins could have 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017 and be a fantasy sleeper like Goff. And Matthews is a very good receiver. Getting more from the passing game is vital. They could either use those picks to build a quality roster or package a few of them to move up. "But I can understand how he feels, being traded for a guy that he's better than".

Watkins had a team-high 39 receiving yards on four catches in Thursday's preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings. As players and coaches, they coach and we play.

Give the Rams credit for overhauling one of the worst receiving corps in the National Football League this offseason.

Add in rookies Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett, an athletic tight end drafted in the second round, and that should be enough of an improved supporting cast to judge what kind of strides Goff has made. Jared Goff, in many circles, has already been written off as a bust. The staff and its offensive strategies (boy, were they offensive!) reduced ballhog Todd Gurley to a three-yards-per carry pedestrian and used greyhound Tavon Austin for nothing more than swing passes and reverses. I think the biggest bump for the current moment is going to be TE Charles Clay, who posted a 57-552-4 line in 2016.

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The team is replacing Kenny Britt, who was the first Rams receiver to cross the 1,000 yard mark (by two yards), since Torry Holt in 2007. He finished second on the Rams in rushing yards previous year (albeit with only 149 yards on the season) and third in receiving yards with only 509.

Watkins endured non-stop nagging injuries, and he wound up missing 11 of the possible 48 games he could have played, but also was well less than 100 percent in many others.

To me, the big victor here is Gurley. Matthews plays predominantly in the slot and is more likely a replacement for Robert Woods, who was signed this past offseason to the Los Angeles Rams.

In dynasty, the quarterback situation got a lot brighter.

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