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Beane Defends Moves to Send Watkins/Darby Packing

Plus Reactions from Around the League

August 12, 2017 - 9:19 am
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By: Brendan Keany (@BrendanKeany on Twitter)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Buffalo Bills sent shock waves throughout the NFL on Friday after completing two blockbuster trades that were reported mere minutes apart from each other.

With the departure of Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, two players that were locks to be in the starting lineup, the team and the fan base attempted to wrap their collective heads around what had just transpired.

Bills General Manager Brandon Beane defended the Friday trades, by saying "business is business"

"I'm always going to try to win today and win tomorrow," Beane said. "That's how I'm wired and that's how I think you win in this league. If I'm coming off a 14-2 season and someone offers me something I think is good capital and is a worthy investment, I have to consider it and that's what happened."

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor said he, like everyone else, was surprised, but he's also excited to work with wide receiver Jordan Matthews again.

"As a team, we have to refocus and do whatever it takes to win games," Taylor said. "I actually had the chance to work out with Jordan a couple years ago. I know him personally. He's a great guy, a great talent."

Eagles' quarterback Carson Wentz weighed in on the trade, Tweeting he will miss Matthews for what he brought to the organization, both on and off the field.

Defensive veteran Kyle Williams was happy to see that actual players, such as Matthews, come back in the respective deals, and without starters in return, he may have been left wondering which direction the team was headed. However, he noted his trust in Head Coach Sean McDermott, and he also said that his approach to this season can't change.

"I know more than anything that my attitude and my leadership and the way that I work cant change because of it changes, guys change and above all that, I trust Sean (McDermott)," said Williams. "I’m going to do what I’ve always done, and I’m going to go out there and get ready to win."

To echo the sentiments expressed by Williams, star running back Lesean McCoy said that even though the trades are huge news stories, there is too much that the team needs to focus on to be distracted by something outside of the players' control.

"The good thing is, right now, even though it’s a major situation with the trade, we have so (many) more things that we’re trying to worry about," McCoy said. "We have a long season and the thing is, we can’t do anything about it now."

Rookie wide receiver Zay Jones knew the business aspect of professional sports from an early age because his father played in the NFL; however, it didn't make the news of the Watkins deal any easier for him to take.

"...Just try to stay as positive as possible," Jones said. "Mixed feelings, as well. I’m seeing one of my good friends go, but he’s moving on. He’s going to be happy, he’s going to be just fine. And now it’s up to us to lead this team, lead this offense and head in the right direction."

Much like Jones, the fan base has also expressed mixed feelings. Some fans asked if their season tickets or recent jersey purchases would be refunded, as many believed these trades were evidence of a tank. Beane defended the move and said they "aren't throwing in the towel." He pointed to acquiring Matthews as proof that the Bills are still in win-now mode even if management is making moves to bolster the future.

Other fans saw the moves as a sign of a clear direction, something many fans have longed for through years of meddling and mediocrity. With six draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 draft, the Bills now possess a ton of flexibility and currency if management decides to keep the picks, or perhaps trade up for one of the several quarterbacks projected to go at the top of the draft.

"This is not a throwing in the towel thing at all," Beane said. "Somebody mentioned that someone said it out there and that, quite honestly, is annoying to me. You don't know me if you think I'm throwing in the towel. If we go out there and play ping pong or whatever we're doing, I'm not throwing in the towel. If we're throwing in the towel I'm not trying to get a starting receiver back."

The Bills will play against Darby's new team, the Eagles, on Thursday in Philadelphia for the team's second preseason game. As for Watkins and the Rams, the only chance of their paths crossing would be in the Super Bowl...so don't hold your breath.


 

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