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 Sammy Watkins to Rams, Elliott Suspended 
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Post Sammy Watkins to Rams, Elliott Suspended wrote:
Bills trade Sammy Watkins to Rams, acquire Matthews

The Buffalo Bills dialed up a pair of trades on Friday morning that comprehensively reorganize their wideout room -- among others.

The team announced that Sammy Watkins has been shipped to the Los Angeles Rams -- along with a 2018 sixth-round pick -- in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-rounder.

In a corresponding swap, the Bills acquired Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-rounder from the Eagles for starting-level cornerback Ronald Darby.

It's a wild flurry of action that alters how Buffalo, Philadelphia and Los Angeles will attack opponents through the air come September.

For Watkins, it marks a decisive career shift away from Buffalo, a team that tried to make it work with the player they traded up for in the first round of the 2014 draft. The former Clemson star battled injuries with the Bills, but showed moments of fascinating playmaking ability.

Coming off a down campaign, Watkins will reunite in Los Angeles with former Bills wideout Robert Woods, while sliding in right away as a bona fide No. 1 target for coach Sean McVay.

The move is a glorious win for Rams passer Jared Goff, who is under pressure to make quick progress under center after a rookie campaign that saw him sputter over seven late-season starts. If Watkins can stay healthy, this is a player who posted 2,000-plus yards and 15 touchdowns over his first two NFL seasons.

Watkins is in the final year of his pact after the Bills failed to pick up his option, but look for the Rams to extend -- or ultimately tag -- a player they considered drafting back in 2014. Speaking of the draft, the Bills now own Kansas City's 2018 first-rounder along with the second- and third-round selections picked up Friday.

In Buffalo, Matthews also steps in as the logical No. 1 target for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The versatile pass-catcher was whispered about for weeks as trade bait, but Matthews -- also in the final year of his rookie deal -- came surprisingly cheap with Philly also gifting the Bills a third-rounder.

Before Eagles fans go nuts, this is a team -- stocked with veteran wideouts -- that needed help on defense. Landing Darby is a boon on that front, but the move puts pressure on Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith to lift up quarterback Carson Wentz come September.

It's a trade that will be eyeballed all season long for hints about who came out on top.

in other news

ESPN wrote:
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday.

The suspension comes as a result of an investigation that started more than a year ago after an ex-girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus City Attorney's office announced in September that it would not pursue charges against Elliott because of "conflicting and inconsistent information," but the NFL can penalize a player even without legal charges.

Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Elliott has three business days to file notice of appeal, and a hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of receipt of the notice, according to Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, which governs appeal of commissioner discipline.

Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee, usually former NFL executive Harold Henderson, would hear the appeal, which would be scheduled for the second Tuesday after the receipt of the appeal. Any ruling by Goodell or his designee would be binding.

Without an appeal, Elliott's suspension would begin Sept. 2. He would be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 23, the day after the Cowboys' Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it is reviewing the league's decision and has been in contact with Elliott and his representatives to consider their options.

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August 11th, 2017, 3:09 pm
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