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Former Buffalo Bills players cash in early in 2018 NFL free agency

In the past few days, Sammy Watkins, Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Marquise Goodwin, and Nickell-Robey Coleman have all signed lucrative free agent deals.

While the Buffalo Bills have gone about retooling significant portions of their roster through the start of the 2018 free agency period, some former Bills players were being rewarded for their strong play after leaving the team.

Despite only recording 39 catches for 593 yards, Sammy Watkins was able to stay healthy during his short stint with the Los Angeles Rams. As a result, he was wooed by the Kansas City Chiefs to the tune of a three-year, $48 million contract. The Chiefs are clearly enamored with Watkins’ potential, as general manager Brett Veach recently stated, “He went top ten for a reason.”

Linebacker Nigel Bradham has had quite the career after following former Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to the Philadelphia Eagles. After working through a two-year contract with the team, Bradham emerged as a key defensive piece for the team and recently became a Super Bowl Champion. Despite their limited cap space, the Eagles were adamant about keeping their starting weak-side linebacker, and managed to lock him down with a five year, $40 million deal.

Another former Bills linebacker, Zach Brown, spent last year on a cheap, one-year deal with the Washington Redskins. Although his play didn’t reach the same level as when he was with Rex Ryan and the Bills, Brown played well enough for the Redskins to offer him a three-year $24 million deal. Expect Brown to compete to be the NFL’s leading tackler for next season.

Finally, after toiling away for years on short, low-money deals, previous Bills fan favorite Nickell Robey-Coleman earned a bit of long-term security after signing three year, $16 million deal with his new team, the LA Rams. Robey-Coleman took to Wade Phillips’ scheme like a fish to water last year and will look to continue to man the slot for the team for the foreseeable future.

Not to be outdone, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin also signed a lucrative contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. He clicked with new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and looks to be an important weapon for them moving forward. The duo combined for 29 receptions on 41 targets for 384 yards in five games with a touchdown.