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Trade Breakdown – Rebuilding The Bills

Nothing that happened in the mega trade that shook the NFL today is going to move that many needles in the futures market at, but it’s an interesting twist for at least two franchises that seem headed in much different directions. One club has embraced the idea that they can’t win all that much this year, while another seems spellbound by their own potential.

Rams receive Sammy Watkins (WR), Bills 2018 Pick (6th Round)

Eagles receive Ronald Darby (CB)

Bills receive Jordan Matthews (WR), E.J. Gaines (CB), Ram’s 2018 Pick (2nd Round) and Eagles 2018 Pick (3rd Round)

Let’s break down this trade because I’d rather talk about this than the preseason games!


Buffalo dove headfirst in to rebuilding mode without capsizing their ability to be relatively competitive this year. The Bills are +1400 to win the AFC East, which is only ironic because the Patriots are -1400 to seize the division that they always win. It’s pretty funny how high that number for New England has escalated as oddsmakers and books are tired of handing out what equates to free money.

LeSean McCoy is the engine of this whole team, and is coming of a 1,259 yards season where he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. In terms of fantasy potential, McCoy is in for a massive workload. But nothing he does will make Buffalo a steady ship this season in the betting realm.

A lot of that has to do with Tyrod Taylor, a quarterback who was put on a short leash by Rex Ryan. The five-year passer is one of the most underwhelming prospects at the position because he doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. He has $15.2M guaranteed in his two-year deal but nothing is promised after this season. I’d be shocked if Buffalo keeps Taylor past this year.

The Bills did acquire E.J. Gaines to help the defensively-focused Sean McDermott retool a defence that was skewered for 357.0 yards per game (19th) and 23.6 points against (16th) last season. He’s a good get and fills the void Darby leaves behind on route to Philadelphia.

Jordan Matthews is talented, but not nearly as potentially devastating as Watkins. So a lot of this just feels like keeping your head above water. They downgraded Darby to Gaines, and did the same by turning Watkins in to Matthews.

More importantly, the Bills acquire more solid draft picks by grabbing a third-rounder from Philly and a high second-round pick from the Rams.

There’s no telling how far down the rebuilding process will go either. Buffalo can do the smart thing and bide time for Brady to retire while continuing to lay down a foundation and clear cap space to save money. The big kicker here is this: LeSean McCoy can be cut after this season and be set free at the age of 30 years old giving them even more room to go young and prepare for a future where Tom Brady might not be always standing in their way.


This is a blunder of a trade for the Los Angeles Rams, who clearly needed a big name player to help sell tickets after a disastrous first year. On paper, Todd Gurley and Sammy Watkins are sexy marketing tools but neither has been consistent in terms of production. The Rams will be much better after ranking dead last in both total yards and points per game last year so there’s already nowhere to go but up.

Even if you found $100 on the street corner, you’d be daft to invest in this team long term. The Los Angeles Rams are +1800 to win the NFC West at and are taking a massive gamble that Watkins will be the difference maker that their offence requires.

It’s also important to point out that Watkins will have millions of reasons to leave Los Angeles if he so desires. Watkins joins an unrestricted free-agent class that is highlighted by DeAndre Hopkins in 2018, and a lot of teams are clearing cap space to go after these talents. There will be money to be made with better opportunities out there.

Of course all of this hinges on two things. First, Watkins has to stay healthy and foot problems are a tricky injury to deal with regardless of recovery. Second, they still have Jared Goff as their quarterback. I’m not going to waste a lot of time explaining why Goff isn’t any good. He sucks.

The most dumbfounding decision for the Rams is acquiring Watkins at the cost of E.J. Gaines. Wade Phillips’ secondary doesn’t have any depth behind Trumaine Johnson now, and they have to count on Aaron Donald being an absolute monster.

The Rams also downgraded their 2018 draft picks by acquiring a pretty useless sixth-round pick.

Overall, it’s pretty obvious that the Rams are dumb. It’s a desperate move that can only be justified if Goff really takes a significant leap alongside two of the most talented skill position players in the NFL.


Losing out on Jordan Matthews, who has a much bigger fantasy value on paper than in reality, isn’t a huge deal. The team signed the always-injured Alshon Jeffrey and have developed Nelson Agholor to the point that Matthews was expendable.

Shipping out a third-round pick in 2016 and a slightly overrated talent like Matthews in return of cornerback Ronald Darby is a no brainer. The Eagles need a stronger defensive unit and they just improved their secondary dramatically without giving up all that much. You have to have talented players at this position when you’re dealing with Washington’s aerial assault, Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant in your division.

There’s no way I’m touching the Eagles as a division winner in the NFL futures market at as I still very much prefer the Giants, but this is a smart move to get in on Darby early without giving up too much the other way. Good job by the Eagles.

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