It was Friday afternoon and I was just heading to the first tee in a warm up round for the Mountain Woods Club Championship on the weekend, what was supposed to be a focused, fun afternoon turned into a moment of “What the F$%$^%$^”!!!! My phone began to vibrate, beep, and ring all at once and when I picked it up Sammy Watkins was traded by the Buffalo Bills to the LA Rams…… CRAZY!! Then moments later Ronald Darby was traded to Philadelphia for Jordon Matthews……. WHAT is going on in Buffalo and how am I supposed to play a round of golf now!!!
From the moment Sean McDermott arrived in Buffalo as the new Head Coach, you could tell there was something different about this guy, a certain focus, attention to detail, polished, and takes no crap kind of guy. Then Brandon Beane shows up also from Carolina, and in his first press conference displays a young executive type individual with a very focused mindset and also a high level of professionalism.
After the Ryan Circus, I was trying my best to keep an eye on what these guys are doing without getting over excited about the future of the Bills, like I have with previous management changes, but as I read more and more reports coming out of Buffalo, these two guys bring lots of hope and optimism for the future of the Buffalo Bills.
Back to Sammy Watkins…… The Ryan and Whaley led team traded a first round pick to grab Watkins at fourth overall of the 2014 NFL draft, they made a huge statement considering Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., and Brandon Cooks were still on the board so they must of seen something special in Watkins to trade up for him. Sammy has never lived up to expectations while in Buffalo only playing 37 out of 48 games due to injuries, when he was out with an injury in 2015, he posted pictures of him and his daughter rather then showing teammates, ownership, and fans that he was working hard to get back on the field, then after getting some negative feedback from fans, he made the mistake that fans were nothing more then “Losers with little jobs”. In 2017 offseason, Sammy decided to let the world know that he intended to be paid like an NBA Superstar during the NBA Free Agency period, while trying to come back from his 2016 season where he only played 8 games due to injury and the games he played were nothing to write home about. The new regime, decided to decline his 5th year option, meaning they would have to come up with a new contract, use the franchise tag, or let Watkins walk away at the end of the season.
Back to the Trade….. So the Buffalo Bills give up Sammy Watkins, WR and a 6th round pick for EJ Gains, CB and a 2nd round pick in 2018, plus they give up Ronald Darby, CB (Another Rex Ryan pick) for Jordon Matthews, WR and a 3rd round pick in 2018. Leaving them with 2 – 1st, 2 – 2nd, 2 – 3rd round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. This is how you build for the future, they saved themselves from having to deal with a major contract situation and have the picks available to be aggressive in the draft.
Lets look at the 2017 season, the Bills did not become a stronger team on this day but are they are worse off…. that is the big question, have a look at some career stats here:
When you look at these numbers my biggest question off the top is was Sammy really worth a 2 first round picks??? Jordon Matthews was drafted 42th overall by Philadelphia in the same draft and has played 46 out of 48 games. So I do not expect to see much of a drop off from the WR position in Buffalo now that Anquan Boldin (6’1″), Zay Jones (6’2″), and Andre Holmes (6’4″) are on the roster. With Matthews at 6’3″ this is a very large group of receivers that are going to be very tough to cover when the avg height of a NFL Cornerback is 5’11”. There is no question the Bills will miss the play of Ronald Darby although he was inconsistent in 2016 and the fact that the Bills drafted the 1st round pick of Tre’Davious White and the rise of Kevon Seymour, also the pick up of EJ Gaines from the Chargers, it made him expendable on this roster.
Personally, I couldn’t be more happy with the moves after going through the shock of it all and I love the fact that McDermott and Beane not only made sure the Buffalo Bills will still be competitive in 2017 BUT 2018 and beyond are looking bright!!! These hires while still young could be what Terry and Kim Pegula were searching for from the beginning!! #GoBills
Wray Dunn – Host