The Buffalo Bills traded Sammy Watkins to the LA Rams for cornerback EJ Gaines and a 2018 second round pick. The 24-year-old wide receiver will join former Bills wide receiver Robert Woods in LA, after the Rams signed him in free agency earlier this summer.
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
Watkins joins a receiving corps which features Woods, Tavon Austin, Mike Thomas, third-round pick Cooper Kupp, second-year player Pharoh Cooper, Josh Reynolds, Nelson Spruce, Paul McRoberts, and Justin Thomas. He should step in as the No. 1 player on the outside.
The No. 4 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft been something of a disappointment since he came into the league — not because of his play, but rather because of his inability to stay on the field. He played a full rookie season, but missed three games in year two and eight games in 2016 due to a foot injury that required multiple surgeries.
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Watkins seems to be healthy now though. The Bills called his number on the first three passing plays to start the game, and finished with with four catches for 39 yards. You have to wonder if the Rams wanted to see him on the field, healthy, before they executed the deal.
Watkins had 65 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns his rookie season, which is solid production for a first-year wide receiver. However, this was also the year Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, and Kelvin Benjamin lit the league on fire. Each of these first-year players had more catches, yards, and touchdowns than the No. 4 overall pick, and each was selected after him in the first round.
Will LA be the place for Watkins to finally reach his potential? The Rams were 31st in the league in passing yards per game last season with 184.4. They picked up the Bills' No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, which will certainly help Jared Goff develop, but the Bills weren't far ahead. Buffalo was 30th at 189.8 yards per game.