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Brandon Beane: We aren’t throwing in towel on this season

Sammy Watkins

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins catches a pass during an NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Saturday, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


The Bills made a pair of big trades on Friday when they sent wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams and cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles.

They got cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick from the Rams and wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick from the Eagles, which gives the Bills two picks in each of the first three rounds of next year’s draft. That suggests a look toward the future over the present, but General Manager Brandon Beane sees it differently.

In discussing the trade on Friday afternoon, Beane said “you could make arguments either way” about whether the team is better in the short term and was adamant that the team isn’t looking past this year.

“This is not a throw in the towel thing at all. ... You don’t know me if you think I’m throwing in the towel,” Beane said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.

It’s hard to miss the appeal of getting a bunch of early picks in the first draft that Beane will be running in Buffalo or to fault the Bills for getting something for Watkins when the organization was clearly reluctant to make a long-term commitment to him, but it’s also hard to see it as a move that leaves the team likelier to win in 2017. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Bills weren’t exactly odds-on favorites to do big things this year and Beane and coach Sean McDermott can now shape the team as they see fit, which provides plenty of rationale for Friday’s moves even if you disagree with Beane’s take on towel throwing.