The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Rams completely an intricate three-team trade last Friday - and kept it quiet up until the moment the deals were made. Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman explained the process on Good Morning Football Wednesday.
“[Personnel conversations] start the minute you report to camp,” said Roseman. “We had these conversations with Buffalo throughout training camp and as we went into the first preseason game and we found a match.”
The Bills had been talking with the Rams since they declined Watkins’ option earlier in the offseason, but knew if they traded their top wide receiver, they would need to get another talented receiver somewhere. That’s when the Eagles came into play.
“Hard trade to make,” continued Roseman. “Jordan Matthews, extremely productive, historically productive as a Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver, and then you're giving up a third-round pick, too. You go back to our scouting staff - they do a great job in the draft - so you're sitting there and going, you've got two possible starting-caliber players. What are you getting back? Is it worthwhile for what you're getting back?”
What they got back was Ronald Darby, a former second-round pick and top cornerback to add to their depleted secondary. He immediately walked in as a starter at a position of need.
So the Bills were able to add a draft pick and some talent at wide receiver to replace some of the production and ability of Sammy Watkins. It also allowed Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott to tell players they were still trying to win now while planning for the future.