Former Vanderbilt star Jordan Matthews traded to the Buffalo Bills

Posted August 12, 2017

After initially acquiring wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third round NFL Draft pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby, the Bills then promptly shipped another wide receiver in Sammy Watkins across the country in a separate deal.

The trades were announced minutes apart on Twitter.

Darby, 23, was a second-round pick of Buffalo in 2015 out of Florida State and represents an immediate upgrade for an Eagles CB depth chart. Buffalo will now have two picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. The wide receiver is coming off of a season in which he caught 73 passes for 804 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games. A second-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, the 42nd player taken overall, Matthews made 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. He intercepted two passes as a rookie with the Bills and started 14 games in 2016, logging 69 tackles and deflecting 12 passes.

Watkins was already a hard player to evaluate after a disappointing, injury-plagued 2016.

Darby, who finished second in voting for defensive rookie of the year in 2015, had two years remaining on his contract.

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During his three years in Philadelphia, Matthews became a clear favorite within the Eagles' locker room.

He joins a secondary that lacks top-notch cornerbacks.

Matthews' now former quarterback shared a touching tribute following the trade. But playing devil's advocate, let's say they throw the ball 520 times and he gets a 20 percent target share, we're looking at 104 targets.

Buffalo likely looks to a young player such as rookie Zay Jones to fill the big-play role. It never gets any easier in this business because however good he is as a player, he's a better person. I'll tell you right now, he ran away from people at the Senior Bowl. The Bills can release Taylor before paying him a $6 million roster bonus next March and save most of his $18 million cap number in 2018, the final year of his contract.