So who got the best of the Bills, Rams and Eagles trades?

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The two biggest trades so far this preseason happened simultaneously today, as the Bills announced a trade with the Rams and a related trade with the Eagles. So who got the best end of the deal?

To recap, here’s what each team ends up with after the two trades:

Bills get: The Rams’ second-round draft pick, the Eagles’ third-round draft pick, cornerback E.J. Gaines and receiver Jordan Matthews.

Rams get: The Bills’ sixth-round draft pick and receiver Sammy Watkins.

Eagles get: cornerback Ronald Darby.

For the Bills, this move was about acquiring draft picks for the future: The new regime has already decided to move on from Watkins, the prize pick of the old regime. So they decided to move on from Watkins a year early and get a second-round draft pick. They also picked up a third-round draft pick for Darby.

For the Rams, this was all about Watkins: They want to give young quarterback Jared Goff another weapon, and now they’ve done so.

And for the Eagles, this was about making the defense better right away: Darby should help immediately.

Watkins is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and is cheap for the Rams, at a salary of just $690,000 this year. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next year unless the Rams slap the franchise tag on him. Watkins has 153 catches for 2,459 and 17 touchdowns in three seasons.

Matthews is also heading into the final year of his rookie contract and is a little more expensive, with a salary of $1.1 million. Matthews has 225 catches for 2,673 and 19 touchdowns in three seasons.

Gaines is heading into the final year of his rookie contract as well, with a salary of $1.8 million. He has started 25 games for the Rams but missed the entire 2015 season.

Darby has two more years left on his rookie contract, with salaries of $800,000 this year and $1 million next year. Darby has started 29 games in two years with the Bills.

So which team did the best? Tell us what you think.

69 responses to “So who got the best of the Bills, Rams and Eagles trades?

  1. On paper, maybe the bills. Production-wise, if darby can play decent like he has, the eagles will benefit the most. They need solid cb play n i feel they can replace matthews production with some young wr talent. Eagles werent gonna pay matthew anyway so he was likely gone next yr n now they got something in return.

  2. Certainly wasn’t the Bills. I get Watkins not being in their plans because he’s been injury prone, but get more than a bag of athletic supporters for him, and the Darby trade is just stupid. He’s not great, but he’s a solid CB in a league with a shortage of those.

  3. I’d say Bills. They immediately replaced the holes they traded off with players which may or may not be better, but starter-material, along with a second and third-round pick for a sixth. What this trade says most is that the Rams think highly of their corners and the Eagles think highly of their receiving corps… which begs the question as to why they didn’t just trade Matthews for Gaines and some picks.

  4. All three teams got what they needed however my Birds addressed the biggest hole on the D which was the CB play. Well done Howie you turned a Player that wasn’t going to be resigned into an above average CB!! I love the deal. Fly Eagles Fly!!

  5. I think these deals worked for all three teams. I loved Matthews but he wasn’t re-signing with the Eagles for big money. And Mack Hollins looked like a Matthews clone last night. Darby is a big upgrade at corner for the Eagles… their main weakness.

    Like most, I love Watkins’ talent but he has to stay healthy. He’s a clear upgrade for the Rams but I have no faith in Goff.

    And the Bills get some quality talent, though Matthews is a step down in talent from Watkins. He’s more durable but not nearly as dynamic.

  6. It was a double edged sword for Buffalo and Watkins. Watch him get hurt, lost the production this season and then lose him for nothing at the end, or, he lights it up and then are “obligated” to tag him at $10+ mil or pay for the contract year he had, or, lose him for nothing. This was the best scenario, honestly. Not like the Rams are going to light the world on fire with their passing game, and if Watkins misses his usual 3-4 game average, it’s a great deal for the Bills. Darby, well, I didn’t hear anything about him in camp. I just don’t think he was fitting into McD’s system, which is neither team or players fault. So instead of trying to fit the square peg, they moved him for a future asset and a guy who will come in right away and provide 1st string production. I’d say the Darby trade favors the Bills simply because of the pick, and the Watkins trade will take the bulk of the season to determine a “winner”.

  7. I’m going to say the Bills with the picks….

    No doubt Howie in Philly is trying to make up for his trading of Eric Rowe to the Patriots blunder last year…

  8. Bills get two players and 2 high picks at the cost of two guys (one of whom is oft injured) and a low pick. How can you not say the Bills win this one? (And I say this as a lifelong Rams fan) If Watkins leads us to the playoff I’ll call it even.

  9. Certainly wasn’t the Bills. I get Watkins not being in their plans because he’s been injury prone, but get more than a bag of athletic supporters for him
    __________________________________________________________

    A 2nd round pick is valuable. Maybe you misread.

  10. Won the trade? Three nothing teams trading nothing players amongst each other. Unless one of those draft picks turns out to be someone worthwhile I’d say it’s a three way tie of losers.

  11. I’m not sure this trade makes much sense for the Rams. Yes Watkins is a great receiver when healthy but that has been a huge problem. Meanwhile they have Tavon Austin, who is going to play because of his contract, Woods and just drafted Kupp, not to mention the other 2 receivers they drafted last year and the 2 more they drafted this year. It seems the Rams plan is quantity and not quality. Maybe Watkins is a good quality receiver for them this year but the he’s up for a nice pay raise next year and then it doesn’t make as much sense to hold onto him. I think the Bills got the better end of this deal.

  12. Bills:
    I’d have to say, on paper anyway, the Bills are the winner here. They replaced both players and while Gaines may not be on the same level as Darby, Matthews may actually be an upgrade. But the key was obviously picking up the 2 draft picks. They weren’t gonna win this year anyway and they weren’t going to re-sign Watkins.

    Eagles:
    Philly does well because they addressed a huge need and they weren’t going to re-sign Matthews at the end of the year. Like the Bills, the Eagles probably aren’t going to win much this year anyway, but having a secondary featuring Sidney Jones and Darby in 2018 puts them in great position for next year. I don’t like the 3rd round pick they gave up, but since Darby is controllable for the next 2 seasons, I guess they had to throw that in to make it even.

    Rams:
    The losers here. Not sure what they were thinking. Watkin’s contract is over at the end of the year and you have no idea what you’re gonna get from him anyway. This is a team that needs it’s draft picks, not a 1-year fix.

  13. Rams and Eagles look to be top 5-10 in the draft so it’s like a late first and second rounder for Buffalo.

  14. That picture of Matthews, in which he botched catching a well thrown ball by Wentz for a come-from-behind-win versus the Giants, suggests that the winner of this trade sure ain’t the Bills.

  15. I’m not sure I understand all the talk about Watkins being continuously hurt. I only see last season where he was hurt most of the season…prior to that, he had over 1000 yds receiving (missing 3 games early in the season) and nearly 1000 in his rookie year. That hardly makes him determined to be an injury prone player at this point. I think the Bills are just being the Bills here…a team that will continue to be mired in mediocrity.

  16. he may be a bust but will (barring injury) put up good enough #’s to command a 3rd round compensatory pick if they don’t resign him…so they A. gave up 30-50 draft spots if they don’t resign him or B. got the inside rail on resigning a receiver that may pan out for they who knows may pan out QB.
    Rams win….

  17. Bills still have a decent team with loads of under-25 talent.

    Six 2018 draft picks in the top 80-85 range, including 2 firsts.

    Buffalo hands down.

    #billsmafia

  18. Eagles addressed their only glaring weakness, they are obviously happy with the new additions at WR and would like to keep some guys they’d otherwise have to cut (Treggs, M. Johnson, maybe Greg Ward?) and weren’t going to keep Matthews beyond this year anyway.

    They are going to be better than a lot of people think this year.

  19. I don’t know which team got the best deal, but the person who got the best deal is Sammy Watkins. A young millionaire moving from Buffalo to Los Angeles. Second best is Jared Goff. He just got a HOF caliber WR (when healthy). Buffalo got rid of Ron Darby, one of the best young CB’s in the NFL. That franchise is in trouble.

  20. The bills easily. Darby and Gaines have very similar stats, in last 2 years both have 2 int’s, Darby has a few more tackles so maybe darby is SLIGHTLY better. As for receivers, Sammmy is always hurt, Matthews has 800+ years each of the last 3 seasons, one of which was 997 yds, so a 1,000 yd season but he is reliable. Plus bills get a 2nd and 3rd rd pick and gave up a useless 6th round pick.

  21. skoobyfl.. saying the Eagles will be in the top 5-10 picks is ridiculous. No, they’re not a world beater, but the only clear weakness on the roster was at corner.. the position they addressed in the deal. I’m not delusional about their potential but they’re clearly closer to 9-7 10-6 than 4-12 5-11. Wentz has looked excellent this summer after a solid rookie year. They’re better at RB, CB, WR (by a lot, despite losing Matthews), Oline and they made huge upgrades on the defensive line. Derek Barnett was a wrecking ball last night. It’s hard to find a better front than Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jernigan, Barnett, Chris Long and Vinny Curry.

    Of course I am biased but there are so many fans sleeping on the Eagles. This is a team with few glaring holes. And they’re now in a division where last years winner is going to miss their best player for 6 games.

  22. If the Bills use these picks wisely, they can use the #2 they acquired on the next Darby, then flip him for a 3 two years from now after they change coaches!

    At some point, the Bills have to start building a foundation, if they are going to ever make the playoffs. Trading away promising young players is just going to set the franchise back a couple years.

  23. Bills are winners. They got two guys to replace the guys they traded and got two picks in return. The guys they got aren’t too much of a downgrade from the guys they traded and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see them have better seasons. That’s not to say the Eagles and Rams lost, but the Bills are the winners.

  24. The eagles hands down.
    They picked up a starter for a 3rd round pick and they have him for 2 more years at a low contract. If he plays ok and leaves they get a compensatory draft pick in return.

  25. The Bills won the off season again!!!? Oh wow, they’re awesome. SMH.

    I agree that the real winner is Sammy Watkins, Buffalo to LA, big time win.

  26. Sammy is a good kid and a player but can’t stay healthy. I kind of feel sorry for him from what I read. He was drafted to make EJ Manuel look good and now I am reading the he needs to do the same thing with Goff. Too bad he just cant be a good WR without having to bail out a #1 QB pick.

  27. Depends on what the Bills do with the picks. Bottom line, it’s too soon to tell. These are all young guys on their rookie deals, will they re-sign and have long, productive careers?

    I don’t think think any of the teams involved are going to be contenders before the players involved have their rookie contracts run out.

  28. None of them, because the Bills are gonna Bill, the Rams are gonna Ram, and the Eagles are just going to be EDP fodder.

    No one should really care about the season considering the Pats will probably win it all again anyway.

    Worst parity in sports AINEC.

  29. Skoobyfl, the Eagles will be a top 10 pick? Are you on drugs? They are better than last year at eOvery position on the field. Pay attention.

  30. I think the Rams lost. The Bills replaced a great talent with a good receiver who doesn’t get hurt. The Eagles got a badly needed corner in exchange for a receiver they weren’t going to resign. The Eagles took a step toward legitimacy. The Bills toward rebuilding with a 2nd and a 3rd. The Rams gave up way too much for a 1 year rental.

  31. This trade tells us Bill’s fans that management and coaching do not believe Tryod Taylor is a capable QB in the NFL. The rest is just fluff.

    Regardless of the fact he is no longer a Bill, I always felt Watkins had special talent if healthy and I hope he fulfills some of that potential in LA, though not sure Goff can get him the ball now either or he can stay healthy. I’m just sorry it wasn’t in Buffalo, but you can’t be a great WR without a better than average QB.

    Buffalo Bills – targeting 2021 for a playoff run!

  32. Not sure where some people get their info. Gaines was not a starting cb for the RAMS last year. In 2014 he was and did well. In 2015 he was injured in camp missed entire season. Last year he played very little. . He was already told he’d be s back up again this season. Decent player for wish him the best. But RAMS had no choice really . They now have a 1 wr. . There is no excuse for Goff to fail. Unlike most of you that believe every thing you see on espn ( sucks). Lol. I say Goff will improve greatly this year bettet coaching, better offensive line, better receivers . He’s going to surprise a lot of the (so called ) experts . Be ready to eat your words.

  33. “The Bills they have two picks in 1st 2nd and 3rd round in next years draft. Obviously loading up to get that franchise QB”

    How about they just tear it down and get the franchise QB with their own pick? And then use all those additional picks to actually get better… What’s the catch? They have to have a terrible 1 or 2 win season instead of their typical 6 win season.

    Bills trade Watkins and Darby for a 2nd and 3rd round pick…oh, and a couple FA rentals to help them win 6 games this year. Yay. Why didn’t they just keep Darby and trade Watkins in the off-season? Pick up the option so the acquiring team wasn’t getting a 2018 FA and then trade him for a 2018 1st rounder.

  34. savethebs says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm
    Bills gave up
    Watkins
    Darby
    6th rounder
    Receive
    Matthews
    Gaines
    2nd rounder
    3rd rounder
    Bills win easily

    ———–

    Agree overall, but for this season, the Eagles get the biggest benefit. The Bills will be worse without Darby. However, the Bills should be stock piling picks and trying to peak in 3 years or something like that. It makes sense.

  35. socalraider says:
    August 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm
    The Bills they have two picks in 1st 2nd and 3rd round in next years draft. Obviously loading up to get that franchise QB

    ————

    Trying to get a franchise QB in the first round is a crap shoot. Just draft for value for a while and stock pile picks and then see what you have. Focus on positions with a higher likelihood of returning on your investment. OL, DL, LB. Boring, but in a year or two you have some chess pieces to move around the board.

  36. Gains is not on the final year of his rookie deal. he still has another year left (at just over 1 mil). For that reason, I think the Eagles win this trade, both the Bills and Rams are going to need to make a large financial investment after this season to make this trade worthwhile.

    The Eagles have a whole extra year to make that investment (and decide if they should).

    The Rams get what COULD be an elite receiver for Goff, so IMO, they came in 2nd

    Bills only got future picks, and gave up 2 quality, young, starters to get them. So to me, they are the clear loser of this trade

  37. Darby, although rather small, looked good in his rookie season. Last year he just looked small. Maybe the Eagles can motivate him to his rookie level, but they can’t make him any bigger. He’s a liability.

    Watkins is an average receiver whose college play got him grossly over-hyped and overpaid in the NFL. To enhance his fragile body he also offers a poor attitude and no work ethic. Clearly, the Rams are nuts. They traded for Sammy Watkins to “help” Jared Goff, a guy who has smelled like a first-round bust even before his first snap. Neither Jared or Sammie may be on an NFL roster in two years.

    The Bills off-loaded under-performing players that don’t fit with the new regime. Both of them stink of Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley and many years of failure. They won’t be missed. Likewise, I’m sure, for the guys the Bills acquired from LA and Philly. The only elements of any consequence for the Bills are the two draft choices.

    Linebacker Reggie Ragland is probably the next Bill to go. He looked totally lost last night against the Vikings.

  38. realfootballfan says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    Certainly wasn’t the Bills. I get Watkins not being in their plans because he’s been injury prone, but get more than a bag of athletic supporters for him, and the Darby trade is just stupid. He’s not great, but he’s a solid CB in a league with a shortage of those.

    ——
    If you think getting a second round draft pick from a team as lousy as the Rams is the equivalent of a box of athletic supporters, you should probably change your screen name

  39. Usually, the team that gets the best proven player wins
    these kinds of trades. So far, the Bills getting Matthews
    are ahead of the pack, pending the draft picks.

    We’ll see how that turns out in 3 yrs or so.

  40. Probably good for all three. Bills addressed key needs. Eagles got their biggest need. I don’t know about the Rams. Depends on if Watkins is healthy, which he hasn’t been.

  41. The Eagles won this deal, although it won’t be obvious until you start seeing the front four D line start turning heads around the league. Darby’s speed means he can stay with any top WR. An extra second is all this line will need. I loved JMatt and thought he was a lock to stay, but this trade will have a ripple effect through the D and certainly boost their spirits. Eli, Dak and Kurt should worry… This Bird’s D is going to terrorize them

  42. Kapodaco says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm
    I’d say Bills. They immediately replaced the holes they traded off with players which may or may not be better, but starter-material, along with a second and third-round pick for a sixth. What this trade says most is that the Rams think highly of their corners and the Eagles think highly of their receiving corps… which begs the question as to why they didn’t just trade Matthews for Gaines and some picks.

    ————
    Gaines is a zone guy.. eagles defense is man based. That’s why

  43. joma1969 says:
    August 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm
    “The Bills they have two picks in 1st 2nd and 3rd round in next years draft. Obviously loading up to get that franchise QB”

    How about they just tear it down and get the franchise QB with their own pick? And then use all those additional picks to actually get better… What’s the catch? They have to have a terrible 1 or 2 win season instead of their typical 6 win season.

    Bills trade Watkins and Darby for a 2nd and 3rd round pick…oh, and a couple FA rentals to help them win 6 games this year. Yay. Why didn’t they just keep Darby and trade Watkins in the off-season? Pick up the option so the acquiring team wasn’t getting a 2018 FA and then trade him for a 2018 1st rounder.

    ————-‘
    Because only the rams will give a 2nd rounder for a injury prone no effort 1st round bust.
    Also regardless of what the bills do, no matter how hard they try to lose, they won’t be able to lose to the jets

  44. On paper, I’d say the Bills, getting rid of a receiver who is as fragile as a pizzelle or a pretzel. How they use the picks is another matter altogether.

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