Did trading Sammy Watkins make sense for the Buffalo Bills? The Bills weren’t viewed as playoff contenders this season with Watkins on their roster, but getting rid of a talented young player will raise some eyebrows around the league.
Watkins was a topic on Monday night’s episode of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. During the show’s “Mail Time” segment, it was asked if it made sense for the Bills to trade the wide receiver. Michael Wilbon was quick to respond and stated that the team doesn’t know what they’re doing.
“No, it really doesn’t (make sense),” said Wilbon. “If you want to win now and you’ve got LeSean McCoy and you can put Sammy Watkins out there and sort of spread the field, why would you trade to get a defensive back and a second round pick? What is the point here? What are the Bills doing? Oh wait! They’ve had five GMs in ten years, they’ve had six coaches in 10 years, they don’t know what they’re doing at the top of the pyramid. That’s what makes sense to me.”
Tony Kornheiser agreed with Wilbon.
“They’ve also had five starting quarterbacks in 10 years,” said Kornheiser. “And I think when you look at the Bills, I think they’ve gone the longest without making the playoffs. They turnover at the top all the time. They turned over ownership recently, obviously. I don’t think they know what they’re doing. I mean, I watched this kid in college. I thought he was really good. I know he has trouble getting onto the field. But I would think that he’s a threat in a passing game that you would want to have.”
Wilbon added, “Seventeen yards a catch two seasons ago when he was healthy. He was hurt last season.”
Despite discussing the Watkins trade, Wilbon and Kornheiser never brought up the team’s second trade from Friday that saw Buffalo trade Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third round pick.
Matthews is not the same type of receiver of as Watkins, but they added a quality receiver to their team as a means of replacing their former first round pick. Matthews, Zay Jones and Anquan Boldin gives the Bills a quality trio at the position.
In addition to adding Matthews and E.J. Gaines, the Bills also picked up two value 2018 draft picks. Kornheiser and Wilbon mentioned the picks at the end of their discussion, but added that it’s simply the spin the team would put on the trade.
“Tony, they’ve got a bunch of picks now,” said Wilbon. “Maybe they’ll do it like the Philadelphia 76ers. Trust the Process.”
“It’s harder in football, said Kornheiser. “It’s harder in football.”
“Six picks in the first two rounds,” added Wilbon. “I’m just saying that would be their spin.”
Wilbon said six picks in the first two rounds, but the Bills actually have six picks in the first two days of the draft. Finding talent in the draft may be more difficult in the NFL, as Kornheiser noted, but GM Brandon Beane has put the Bills in position to draft their first franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly retired. In today’s NFL, a franchise QB is the easiest way to win consistently and is far more valuable than a young wide receiver.
Buffalo may take their lumps over the Watkins trade now, but the team will have the chance to prove they were correct to trade Watkins based on the prospects they add in the 2018 draft.
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