Former Clemson and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins was traded this past Friday from the Bills to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines as well as a 2018 second-round draft pick.
The Bills also picked up Jordan Matthews as well as a 2018 third-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Ronald Darby.
Here are what reporters, general managers, Watkins himself, and other media members are saying about the trade deal that some have called “crazy” and “shocking.”
“Just a total shock,” Watkins said about the trade that brought him to Los Angeles from the Buffalo Bills. “But I am definitely excited and honored to be here.”—Reported by Lindsey Thiry from latimes.com
Asked if he has any ill will toward Buffalo, newest Rams WR Sammy Watkins answered with this smile and said, “I’m in LA so…”—Tweeted by Joe Curley from Ventura County Star
“I was shocked just like everybody else,” Watkins told reporters on Saturday. “I have to get to know everybody on the staff and the team, and let everybody earn my trust and I earn their trust and just be a part of the team.” – Reported by Mike Florio from profootballtalk.nbcsports.com
“These aren’t easy decisions,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters Friday. “I laid both trades out for (owner) Terry Pegula and (coach) Sean McDermott last night. This was absolutely a we decision.” – Reported by Marc Sessler from nfl.com
Watkins had been the Bills starter since Buffalo traded up five spots in the 2014 draft to select him with the No. 4 pick. He has 153 catches for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons. He topped 1,000 yards once, in 2015. – Reported by The Associated Press from nytimes.com
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. – Reported by Christian D’Andrea from sbnation.com
“I’m thrilled that in losing a guy like Sammy we were able to get a guy with Jordan Matthews’ skins on the wall,” said Beane. “E.J. has started 25 games in this league, was on the NFL’s all-rookie team (in 2014) so he’s got some pedigree.” – Reported by Sal Maiorana from democratandchronicle.com
Because the Bills declined to exercise Watkins’ option, he is now in the final year of his rookie contract. Though (Les) Snead (Rams general manager) said the Rams and Watkins have not yet discussed a potential contract extension out of respect for the player, Snead added Los Angeles doesn’t see this trade as a short-term decision. – Reported by Myles Simmons from therams.com
“This is not a throw-in-the-towel thing at all,” Beane said. “If we were throwing in the towel, I wouldn’t be trying to get that starting receiver back. – Reported by John Wawrow from The Washington Post
—Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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