Newly arrived Watkins sees Rams as fresh start

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Sammy Watkins just thought he had the hot hand. He was targeted with the first three plays from scrimmage in the Buffalo Bills' first preseason game Thursday, then he returned to the locker room later that night and was told he had been traded to the Los Angeles Rams.

"They were targeting me pretty quick," Watkins said. "And then after the game, I was like, 'Oh, I probably was out there auditioning.'"

Watkins was acquired in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in next year's draft. He called the deal "a total shock" but also "a blessing."

Watkins flew west Saturday and arrived at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum three hours before his new team faced the Dallas Cowboys in its preseason opener. The 24-year-old wide receiver still had not sat down with his new coach, Sean McVay, or his new quarterback, Jared Goff, and he has no idea how he will fit in this offense.

But he knows one thing.

"I am 100 percent healthy," Watkins said. "The foot thing is out the door. I probably need to get in a little bit better shape. Other than that, I am fine."

Watkins is coming off two foot surgeries in the spring of 2016 and in January 2017. He also had hip surgery after his rookie season in 2014 and dealt with a few smaller ailments throughout 2015, but he has mostly been unrestricted in training camp.

The Bills initially gave up two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder to draft Watkins fourth overall three years ago, but a new regime declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, setting him up for free agency at the end of this season.

Rams general manager Les Snead said Friday that he "definitely" wants to figure something out long-term with Watkins.


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