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Rams get inspired version of Sammy Watkins

The Los Angeles Rams have not made the playoffs in over a decade. While that streak of futility may not change this year, general manager Les Snead is doing his best.

Snead acquired wide receiver Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a second-round selection and corner E.J. Gaines. Los Angeles also got a sixth-round selection in the deal.

The trade doesn’t solve all of the Rams’ problems. They still have a first-year head coach in Sean McVay, who while promising is still a newbie in his position. McVay is challenged with getting the best out of second-year quarterback Jared Goff, whom the Rams traded up for last April to draft with the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. If Goff can’t be salvaged, and he was a brutal 0-7 last year, it would be a huge blow to the rebuilding effort in Los Angeles.

Still, the Watkins trade was the right move for a team that hasn’t had a premier wide receiver since the days of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Los Angeles was doing Goff a disservice by giving him a duo of Tavon Austin and Robert Woods to work with. Now, those two slide into the correct role of sidekicks while Watkins is a deserving leading man.

For his part, Watkins is excited to be the Rams. After having the fifth-year option of his rookie contract declined by the Bills this offseason, the former Clemson Tigers star knows he has a fresh start and a chance to prove himself, per ESPN:

“I gotta handle my business and control what I can control,” Watkins said. “If I go out there and have a year that I’m expecting to have, then we can talk contract. But I still gotta go out there and do my job and let those guys handle the paperwork, contract, numbers.”

If Watkins stays healthy, there’s a good chance he earns a huge payday. Despite already being in the NFL for four seasons, he is only 24 years old. When on the field, he’s been a force, including 1,047 yards in just 13 games two seasons ago. Last year, Watkins was limited to eight games due to a foot injury, only allowing him 430 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Should Watkins regain his previous form, he gives Los Angeles a true deep threat and someone who can fight for a jump ball against a corner … and win. If that happens, the money will come rolling in, whether it be in the form of an extension, a free-agency feeding frenzy of a franchise tag that leads to a large deal.

The Rams took a calculated risk, and Watkins has new life. It’s a win-win for both parties.

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