LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor maintain trust after Bills' big trades

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott on Friday called for his players to put their trust in him and team management after Buffalo traded two of its top young talents, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby, in separate deals.

"We are going in a direction," McDermott said. "We've got to continue to move forward. That's what you do in this business. You put one step in front of the other and you move on. I asked them to continue to trust me and our decisions, in terms of what we're doing, and we need to be focused on what's in front of us."

General manager Brandon Beane said Friday he had been receiving trade calls about Watkins since Beane was hired in May, days after the Bills declined Watkins' fifth-year contract option for 2018. Beane presented the Los Angeles Rams' proposal -- a 2018 second-round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines in exchange for Watkins and a 2018 sixth-round pick -- to McDermott and owner Terry Pegula after the Bills' preseason loss Thursday night to the Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm always going to listen," McDermott said of the trade proposal. "Brandon's job, and his staff's, is they go out and find players. And it's our job to develop the players. So as a football coach, it's my job as Brandon approaches me with a potential situation, to listen. I'm protective of our players. I'm very protective of our players, and it's got to be the right deal, the right situation for us to do something like this.

"I feel like we're moving in the right direction, I honestly believe that. And I would end by saying this: I have the ultimate trust in Brandon and his staff."

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who loses his top receiver in Watkins, and running back LeSean McCoy both echoed McDermott's trust in Beane in making the right deal.

"I have faith in our management and I have faith in Coach McDermott that they made a decision based on the betterment of this team. Like I said, definitely just surprised that everything happened. It just happened so fast," Taylor said.

"The good thing about that is it's past my pay grade," McCoy said. "Those guys make the decisions for our team. As players and coaches, they coach and we play. That's how it works."

McCoy, who was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 for linebacker Kiko Alonso, said he can relate to Watkins in that Watkins was dealt for "a guy he's probably better than" in wide receiver Jordan Matthews. The Bills acquired Matthews on Friday along with Philadelphia's 2018 third-round pick for Darby.

"If you compare the two, it's obvious [that] you can agree who is better," McCoy said of Watkins and Matthews.

The Bills' two trades Friday give the team a total of six selections in the first three rounds of the 2018 draft. However, the deals could weaken Buffalo's chances of improving on their 7-9 record from last season.

Asked Friday if the Bills are better off for the upcoming season after making the moves, Beane said, "you can make an argument either way." Beane also pushed back against the idea that Buffalo is not putting the best team on the field in 2017 in order to move on from quarterback Taylor and find his replacement in the draft next spring.

"It doesn't say anything," said Beane about what the trade means for Taylor. "Everybody's forgetting [signing Anquan] Boldin last week. This is not a throw-in-the-towel thing at all. Somebody mentioned that somebody said that out there, and honestly, that's annoying to me. You don't know me if you think I'm throwing in the towel. When I go out there and play pingpong, whatever I'm doing, I'm not throwing in the towel. If we're throwing in the towel, we're not trying to get a starting receiver back.

"To your question on Tyrod, it's nothing. We got Anquan, who we added. I told you, I honestly believe he's a Hall of Famer. He still can play in this league. Jordan Matthews is a starting receiver. If you look at his numbers and what he's done, those aren't anything to laugh at. So Tyrod will get every opportunity to lead this team, and we're all rooting for him. It's our best interest."

McDermott understands Bills' fans frustrations about another potential rebuilding season after the franchise has missed the playoffs for the past 17 seasons.

"I get it," McDermott said. "I absolutely get it. That's why I didn't sleep [Thursday] night, because these are tough decisions. As I said before, I'm a part of that [playoff drought]. When I signed my name on the dotted line, I became a part of that 17-year time period. I see the RVs pulled out here every game. I heard about it, and then [Thursday night] I experienced it.

"I'm invested. I feel what they feel. We're building a football team. We're building a football team that we want to compete in the short and the long term and to be good for a long time. Sometimes that's a day-to-day process and sometimes those are not easy decisions from a leadership standpoint. I understand where [the fans] are coming from. That said, we're going to compete like crazy."