They were replaced in free agency when the team signed Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
At least one member of the Bills isn't thrilled about Buffalo trading wideout Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams on Friday.
That move was subsequently followed by another corner-for-receiver deal.
The second trade, which was announced by the Bills immediately after the first, sent cornerback Ronald Darby to Philadelphia for receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick.
Buffalo adding a couple picks is a nice component of these deals, and they also saved money. But this appeal could go into the middle of the season and into your fantasy playoffs.
There's no doubt Watkins is an outstanding receiver, but his career numbers are underwhelming for a player taken with the fourth overall pick in 2014. Darby, a man-coverage specialist, is coming off a down sophomore campaign, after his 21 passes defensed as a second-round rookie in 2015 ranked fifth in the NFL. Matthews went to Vanderbilt.
Matthews has 225 receptions out of 349 targets. In Los Angeles, Watkins will be reunited with Robert Woods, the Bills' leading receiver in receptions and yards in 2016.
With Matthews gone, Smith should get an opportunity to be Philadelphia's No. 2, though he'll have to compete with Nelson Algohor, among others. He has scored 19 touchdowns. Watkins torched the Chiefs that Sunday, catching six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, all of it in the first half. Throughout the National Football League season, we'll be interviewing featured experts and team correspondents who will offer insight to help your squads.
That's all the past, though. This is a strong running game with a West Coast passing game. However, the problem in Buffalo is simple: there doesn't appear to be a vertical threat on the roster. Gaines in exchange for Watkins and a 2018 sixth-round pick - to McDermott and owner Terry Pegula after the Bills' preseason loss Thursday night to the Minnesota Vikings. Indeed, the ideal mentors for the rookie might be Boldin and Matthews. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has a history of re-upping homegrown players early if they have been identified as part of the core. The Bills have basically overhauled their wide receiving corps in attempt to be more productive in this area. I think the biggest bump for the current moment is going to be TE Charles Clay, who posted a 57-552-4 line in 2016. "If you compare the two, it's obvious you can agree who is better".
Let's look at the situation in LA now, where Watkins will certainly bring some sexy to a team that wasn't lacking in that department.
Sitting at the bottom of nearly every offensive category had resulted in a 4-12 record and left rookie quarterbackJared Goff battered and bruised.
But, again, he was a rookie. This should allow the Rams and RB Todd Gurley to establish a running game more efficiently than a year ago with an upgraded receiving core and offensive line. I see the RVs pulled out here every game. And look at the numbers they put up-on average nearly 1,100 receiving yards and 8 TDs.
The Rams needed real receivers to open up space for Austin.
The challenge for the Bills will be whether they can curb his well-documented gunslinger tendencies.
Watkins has been dealing with a foot injury that limited the wide receiver to just eight games a year ago after having an operation to fix a broken foot.
To me, the big victor here is Gurley.
Just over seven months later, that to-do list is complete, the final item getting crossed off Friday with the addition of dynamic wide receiver Sammy Watkins in a blockbuster trade as shocking as it's expected to be impactful. Because the quarterback position is still a mess, Gurley will still need to be the heartbeat of the offense but now there are more options for the ball to get spread out.