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Rumblings roundtable: Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby trade discussion

August 12th, 2017 at 8:27 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Friday, August 11th started like any other day after a Buffalo Bills preseason game. Then the Bills ripped the schedule apart at the seams, announcing two blockbuster trades. As the Buffalo Rumblings staff scrambled to report on the events of the day, several unanswered questions built up in our heads. Friday night, we talked out the situation on our staff Slack channel. Here, in the style of a FiveThirtyEight Slack roundtable, is what we had to say about the trades.

Dan Lavoie: Okay, well let’s get into it – the Bills traded Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby today. The Brandon Beane era is now in full swing. Snap judgments on the two trades – approve, disapprove, not sure?

Dylan Zadonowicz: Darby trade I approve, Sammy I’m not sure

Jeff Hunter: Hard to say right now, without seeing how exactly the Bills plan on using Jordan Matthews and EJ Gaines. The picks are a nice touch, but I’m by no means a fan of tanking, so…we’ll see how the preseason plays out.

Andrew Griffin: “Not sure” as of yet.

Dan: I’m not happy about the Sammy trade. I think his talent potential far outstrips the return. The Bills punted on trying to sign him long-term without allowing this season to play out. That’s weak. The Darby trade, I can rationalize. Getting a WR2 and a 3rd round pick for a CB2 is a solid deal, even if Matthews only has one year left on his contract

Dylan: I will be more convinced the trades were great moves based on the draft picks. If in 2019 the second and third rounders they gained from this trade turn into solid staters, I’ll consider it a success

Jeff: I really can’t separate the trades in my mind. They lock together so well, and Beane said that if one fell through he might not have moved on the other, so I can’t say I like one and dislike the other.

Grif: Jeff, would you say that the team is tanking, even if the coaches won’t cop to that?

Dan: Haha, Grif with the hard-hitting question right off the bat!

Jeff: I wouldn’t…we cover the Bills, but we all remember the Sabres and the McEichel draft a couple years ago. That was a tank. This is a move with a definite eye for the future.

Dylan: Now that they have 6 picks in the first three rounds, the possibility of them having to give up picks for a quarterback is more comforting with those insurances

Dan: I think the Bills saw an opportunity to build for the future… without a tank. They can argue that they’re getting 85% of the production from the players they just lost, from the players they just gained. And added two high draft picks in the process.

Dylan: The Bills brass seems to be much more concerned with long term success rather than pushing for a wild card spot in 2017

Dan: I’ll add that this team doesn’t feel like one that could tank even if it wanted to. Unless they just up and traded Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy away.

Grif: I’m immediately reminded of the Pirates GM who told one of his star player: “We finished eighth with you, we can finish eighth without you.”

Jeff: The idea of moving for a quarterback is always interesting, but is this the kind of draft where they’d need to? It’s entirely possible that a quality starter could be found in the middle parts of the first round.

Good point, Grif. No team that’s tanking is keeping Shady around.

Dan: I think they’re taking the same philosophy the Browns FO used under Sashi Brown – accumulate a crapton of picks, just because they get more options that way. They still picked a QB this year, but didn’t necessarily pay a king’s ransom for him.

Dylan: Jeff you could argue that Tyrod is a quality starter now. If the Bills want to target their franchise for the next 12 years, they’ll most likely need to move into the top 5

Grif: This draft is the one to move up in, yes.

Jeff: I’ve looked into trading into the top five in the past, and I’m 115% against it, but that’s a story for another day.

Dan: Right. It usually turns out terribly. But if the Bills mitigate the risk because they have a full set of extra draft picks… is it a bad idea anymore?

Grif: Let’s get back to the Watkins trade. Do any of you think the WR corp is worse than last year?

Dan: Well, by default, no. Last year’s was putrid. No offense to Robert Woods, it was more about the supporting cast behind him

Jeff: Having a lot of ammo helps in trading up, but yes, back to the point.

Dylan: Absolutely not, if Goodwin and Woods were on this team they would be fighting for the 4 spot.

Grif: And the team went 7-9 last year, essentially without Sammy

Jeff: I always liked Woods more than most, but again, it’s hard to say where everybody goes at this point.

I’m assuming Zay and Matthews on the outside with Boldin in the slot. Any objections?

Dan: All three guys can play in the slot and do well. But Boldin’s limited speed probably puts him there the most

Dylan: No objections that sounds right, Boldin is too aged to get outside IMO

Dan: It’ll be risky asking Jones (who’s a rookie) and Matthews (who has struggled on the outside at times) to split out wide. But that’s probably the best configuration

Jeff: That brings up another point. Dan, you’ve spent a lot of time looking at the offense the Bills should be running under Rick Dennison. It’s not fair to ask …

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https://www.buffalorumblings.com/2017/8/12/16137194/buffalo-rumblings-slack-chat-buffalo-bills-sammy-watkins-ronald-darby-trades

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Tags: A.J. Bouye, Andrew Luck, Broncos, Browns, Buffalo Bills, Chiefs, Colts, Darby, Dolphins, Eric Moulds, FiveThirtyEight, Jaguars, Jets, Joe Flacco, Jordan Matthews, Josh McCown, Josh Norman, Kevon Seymour, LeSean McCoy, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Robert Woods, Ronald Darby, Ryan Tannehill, Sammy Watkins, Steelers, Steven Hauschka, Texans, Titans, Tyrod Taylor, Whitney Mercilus

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