"We're seeing those guys on the field", said Roseman.
The price was steep: a third-round pick and Jordan Matthews' final season before free agency.
"This is not a throw-in-the-towel thing at all", Beane said. He has 153 catches for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons but topped 1,000 yards just once (2015).
Despite what some might consider inflated numbers, Matthews' production is unquestionable. Through his first two seasons Darby has only missed three games with 137 tackles, 33 passes defensed, and two interceptions. The others were Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, A.J. Green and Randy Moss. However, as I noted in looking in past comparables, his early draft status and those horrific stats don't necessarily mean we can write him off.
Matthew seemed miscast as a WR1 previous year in Philadelphia, but he was also working with an inconsistent rookie QB. A recent report suggested some team employees believe Matthews could have practiced more but allowed his contract status to influence his decision-making, a charge that the Matthews strongly denied. The reason this is confusing is because Boldin has been a slot wide receiver nearly exclusively over the last two years playing over 70 percent of his snaps there. The team just signed 36-year-old Anquan Boldin last week.
So in typical fashion, the Bills are out to win in the short term while hoping to get better down the road.
Watkins and Matthews will both become unrestricted free agents in March. With Jeffery and Smith on one-year deals, Matthews could have factored into the longterm plans.
But Matthews' departure will still leave a void.
Gaines isn't the fastest or biggest guy (5-foot-10), but McDermott's 4-3 zone scheme could be something he's better suited for.
Roseman said he had a "knot in his stomach" before talking to Matthews on Friday morning and certainly thought about the possible locker room ramifications a deal like this one might have.
"Hard to pull the trigger on a trade like that when you're giving up that kind of player and person", said Roseman.
The Rams are excited about rookies Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds, but even after the Watkins trade you have to wonder if they've done enough to get markedly better at the position. Considering the grief that the Pegulas received for their hockey team's shameful losing campaign, you can understand why the owners wouldn't have the stomach to repeat it with their National Football League franchise.
Now, he joins an overhauled Eagles team at cornerback.
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