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Bills trade Watkins to Rams for CB Gaines & 2nd round pick

Posted Aug 11, 2017

The Bills made a blockbuster move Friday, sending former first-round pick Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams along with a 2018 sixth-round pick in exchange for CB E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in next year’s draft.


It was a move that no one was expecting, but its clear Buffalo’s front office is going to shape this roster in the image they believe will bring sustained success. On Friday, a day after their preseason opener, the Bills made a blockbuster move sending former first-round pick Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams along with a 2018 sixth-round pick in exchange for CB E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in next year’s draft.

Watkins, who has had a pair of foot surgeries to repair a Jones fracture, led the team in receptions Thursday night against the Vikings. He will be reunited in Los Angeles with Robert Woods and likely fill their number one receiver role.

Parting with Watkins was certainly a surprise, but the current front office did not draft the Clemson product and clearly has a different direction charted for the team’s receiving corps. Watkins appeared in 37 games for the Bills posting 153 catches, almost 2,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Injuries have kept him out of 11 of the team’s last 32 games.

Gaines, 25, has been the starting right cornerback for the Rams since he was a rookie in 2014. He missed the 2015 season with a Lis franc foot injury, but returned in 2016 to make 10 starts and posted 56 tackles, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble.

A former PFWA All-Rookie team member, Gaines had a career-high 70 tackles in the 2014 season along with 14 pass breakups and a pair of interceptions. He will compete for a starting role in Buffalo’s secondary.

Buffalo also parted with their sixth-round pick in 2018 in exchange for a second round pick next spring. The Bills now have two picks in each of the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL draft.

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