Bold move for Sammy Watkins part of Bills GM's quest 'to win...and win now'

The Clemson Sports Blog

Former Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins laughs with players on the sidelines during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Former Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins laughs with players on the sidelines during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Some are saying that the Buffalo Bills gave up too much for Sammy Watkins.

Not in the mind of the Bills' new GM, Doug Whaley, however.

Buffalo, he says, needs to win, and win now.

"We've got to win," Whaley on Monday. "We've got to win now. Fourteen years of not making the playoffs. Fourteen years. The people here deserve so much more. We need to give them more. We need to give them a winning team. We need to do it for the people of this region, and we need to do it for Mr. (Ralph) Wilson (the Bills' long-time owner who passed away in March)."

Toward that end, the Bills retained all of their 2014 draft picks, traded up from ninth to fourth in the first round to draft Watkins, and gave up their first and fourth picks in 2015.

"We thought it was a calculated risk and a risk we were willing to take,” Whaley told the Bills' website last night. "It was a very high cost, but the high cost not making the playoffs is something we weighed in and we thought this guy was going to get us to the playoffs...

“We’re building our roster now and granted you hate giving up number one picks, but we thought what he brings to us now is worth the low one that we’ll be giving up next year.”

Bills president and CEO Russ Brandon described the hurriedly arranged trade as "a bold move."

“We went into this draft saying we were going to be bold," Brandon told "Obviously Sammy Watkins was a player that was very, very, very high on our board and someone that we felt could contribute immediately and we’re sitting up here very pleased.”

The trade with Cleveland was triggered when the Jacksonville Jaguars, picking third, passed on Watkins and selected UCF quarterback Blake Bortles.

At Buffalo, Watkins not only joins former Clemson star C.J. Spiller, he beefs up a receiving corps that also includes wideouts Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, and starting slot receiver Stevie Johnson.

Woods and Goodwin were added to the roster in last year's draft, along with quarterback EJ Manuel, the team's No. 1 pick.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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TigerNE writes:

I think the Bills are expecting a lot from the recently acquired Mike Williams, too.

To me the real question is not why they made such a sacrifice trade to get Sammy, but what they will do the rest of the draft and before the season starts to beef up parts of their defense. If they can get better at slowing the run, and with the all the newer talent (to them) and existing talent on offense, they can even give the Pats a run for the money.

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