Bills trade Sammy Watkins to Rams, acquire Matthews

Bill Kostroun  AP

Bill Kostroun AP

The move is a glorious win for Rams passer Jared Goff, who is under pressure to make quick progress under center after a rookie campaign that saw him sputter over seven late-season starts.

"This is a passing-driven league", Roseman said. "We want to find mismatches and move players around so that we keep them guessing". "So, the versatility of the [slot] position and flexibility we have personnel-wise as far as who we can put in that spot benefits us offensively".

"It hurts when people you care about leave", Roseman said. Unlike Matthews, both of them can play inside or outside, and both of them did at Saturday's practice. Watkins went to Buffalo at No. 4 and totaled 1,000 yards in his second season.

Watkins, selected fourth overall in the 2014 draft, has shown glimpses of brilliance over three seasons in Buffalo, but various leg injuries in 2015 and a season-ending broken foot in 2016 prevented the former Clemson star from playing a full season beyond his rookie year. But the Eagles are hopeful.

The difference between the fantasy football complaint of 2011 and today is that there was no similar outrage expressed by any of the players about a squad that, for better or worse, will have a new look and feel with Matthews suddenly out of the picture.

In Buffalo, Matthews also steps in as the logical No. 1 target for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

"The game is about matchups, " Hollins said. "So if my best matchup is inside against a smaller nickel, then that's where I'll be, and if it's outside versus a smaller corner, that's where I'll be".

"There's a lot of talent, a lot of guys vying for position", Matthews said.

The "down" mood, as safety Malcolm Jenkins described it, carried over into Saturday's proceedings at the NovaCare Complex.

"I think his vertical presence and even just his threat and his name will allow defenses to play us different because you always have to have someone over the top of him", Woods said. "It's, 'Hey, he's run in the slot before, so we can do this or that'".

It was the kind of trade the Rams desperately needed to make, the type that gives their offense a real chance to finally emerge as a legitimate unit. "It's good that everybody's comfortable in the slot". He was very good as a rookie in 2014 and was performing well throughout training camp.

McDermott is aware how the trades have the potential of setting back Buffalo's preparedness at a time the franchise is in the midst of a 17-year playoff drought - the longest active streak in North America's four major professional sports. But he understands the reasoning.

Part of the somber vibe, he said, could be attributed to the fact that the Eagles were less than 48 hours removed from a preseason game and were put through a almost three-hour, fully padded, live-hitting practice by head coach Doug Pederson. Not only did he lose his favorite wide receiver, but one of his best friends. So they went about changing that this calendar year.

We recently asked you to support our journalism. "We're encouraged by the progress. Outside, you kind of have a one-on-one even in some zones". Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer.

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