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NFL: Rams find No. 1 receiver in trade for Bills’ Watkins

Updated: 
August 12, 2017 - 12:05am

LOS ANGELES—On the eve of their preseason opener, the Rams and new coach Sean McVay decided to go deep.

The Rams traded for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Friday, giving McVay and quarterback Jared Goff a desperately needed vertical threat.

The Rams sent cornerback E.J. Gaines and a potentially pricey second-round pick in next year’s draft to the Bills in exchange for Watkins and a sixth-round pick.

“Clearly you’re getting a special receiver,” McVay said after practice. “In his career, when he’s been available, he’s been outstanding in terms of being able to stretch the field vertically.

“When the ball’s in his hands, good things happen.”

Regardless of when he makes his Rams’ debut, McVay said the addition was helpful to the team, “and especially our quarterback.”

The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Watkins has been spectacular at times, but he also has been plagued by injuries since the Bills traded two first-round picks to move up and select him with the fourth pick in the 2014 draft.

Watkins, 24, has 153 career receptions for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has averaged 16.1 yards per catch.

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