Russ Brandon said the Bills wanted to be bold, and they certainly were on draft weekend. A series of moves made in an effort to turn it around in a hurry and end the NFL's longest current playoff drought. But will all the wheeling and dealing result in winning?
The Bills made a big splash shortly after the draft got underway on Thursday. They traded up to grab the top wide receiver in this year's class, Clemson's Sammy Watkins. He's an explosive player who should make second year quarterback EJ Manuel better. But the Bills admit they paid a heavy price giving up next year's first round pick along with a fourth rounder to make the deal with Cleveland.
The addition of Sammy is going to be an instant impact not only to our quarterback, but to what our offensive coordinator can up with game plan wise," general manager Doug Whaley said.
"My mentality is score every play," Watkins said. "That's my mentality, to score, to catch every ball that touches my hands. To create a problem for the defense."
With Watkins in the fold, the next domino to fall was the trade of Stevie Johnson to the 49ers on Friday. He's been the Bills best wide out for several years, the only player in team history with 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons, leaving the Bills with a very young and inexperienced group.
"Obviously Stevie had a very good career here, but obviously when you bring someone in like Sammy and the young group of guys we had, yes that’s really it," head coach Doug Marrone said. "It’s not a knock on Stevie, we brought in Sammy and it was crowded back there. We make decisions on what is best for the team and we move forward from there. We appreciate everything that Stevie has done and we wish him well. It’s a change of atmosphere."
Then on Saturday, the Bills picked up running back Bryce Brown from the Eagles. He'll likely play behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, but he could provide some insurance for the future, as both Spiller and Jackson enter the final year of their contracts.
They also drafted three offensive linemen, a cornerback and a pair of linebackers.
"It was really quite a tribute to Mr. Wilson I felt by the aggressive nature that we talked about going in to this weekend, that we wanted to be aggressive and we wanted to be bold," president and CEO Russ Brandon said. "We made five trades in the last three days to really change the complexion of our organization and our roster moving forward."
All geared toward winning, and winning now - which would really be a change.