Bills Blockbuster Trade Proposal Lands ‘Top-Flight’ WR in Draft

Brandon Beane, Sean McDermott

Getty Bills Head coach Sean McDermott (R) and general manager Brandon Beane at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019.

After trading Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, the Buffalo Bills desperately need a new No. 1 wide receiver. However, the massive financial hit from Diggs’ exit makes finding a replacement in free agency difficult.

The Bills were already expected to draft a receiver in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. But after losing Diggs, analysts predict Buffalo may look to trade up to land one of the top prospects. The Athletic’s Charlotte Carroll and Joe Buscaglia suggested Buffalo could fly up the board in a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants.

In order to land Bills quarterback Josh Allen a new weapon at No. 6, Buffalo sends New York their 2024 first-round pick (No. 28), 2024 second-round pick (No. 60), 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 128) and 2025 first-round pick. In the exchange, the Bills receive the Giants’ 2024 first-round pick (No. 6) and 2025 seventh-round pick.

While this trade proposal is a “long shot,” Carroll and Buscaglia urged readers to “remember the close relationship between these two teams. Giants general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll both came from Buffalo and are therefore very familiar with Bills GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott. If a trade of this magnitude is going to happen, these teams align as likely partners.”

Beane has a history of trading up in the draft, but this is a huge jump. “This receiver class, especially with the three top receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze — has a chance to be one of the best we’ve seen in recent memory,” Buscaglia noted.

“With Allen’s contract ballooned, pairing him with a potential top-flight receiver on a cost-controlled rookie deal makes a ton of sense, especially with how much it costs for a top-tier receiver in today’s NFL.”

ESPN Analyst Urged the Bills to Trade Down in the NFL Draft

Trading up to No. 6 sounds exciting, but giving up two first-rounders for an unknown asset is a huge gamble. Unless Beane is confident one of the top receivers is a future superstar, he might stay put. And because this year’s draft class is so deep with receiver talent, Beane may trade down.

While trading up for a player like Odunze, as ESPN’s Mina Kimes suggested, is “entirely reasonable,” ESPN insider Bill Barnwell wrote — he urged Buffalo to go in the opposite direction.

“They don’t need to add one wide receiver. They need two or three, both now and in the years to come,” Barnwell wrote. “Look at what the Chiefs and Packers have done. Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill and went for quantity over quality.

With Diggs gone, the Bills’ top receivers on the roster are Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, Mack Hollins, and tight end Dalton Kincaid. “I’m not even sure this is an above-average receiving corps if the team moved up for Odunze,” Barnwell wrote.

“With this draft widely regarded as one of the deepest classes for wide receivers in recent memory, the Bills could trade down from this spot and add a couple of useful wideouts. Regaining the third-round pick they sent to the Packers for Rasul Douglas would be helpful, and they also have extra fourth and fifth-round picks.”

Bills GM Suggested They Wouldn’t Solely Rely on the 2024 NFL Draft for a New WR

Buffalo has serious work to do at wide receiver, and Beane knows it. “Are we better today? Probably not,” Beane told reporters after trading Diggs.

“It’s a work in progress, and we’re going to continue to work on that. I would hope that people know I’m competitive as hell… and I ain’t giving in. We’re gonna work through this and we’re going to continue to look. I’m confident in the guys we have on the roster and I’m confident in the staff that helps me.”

While The Ringer’s Benjamin Solak told Kay Adams, “Don’t be surprised” if the Bills make “a big” Round 1 trade, Beane suggested they won’t just be adding talent via the draft. “We don’t play games until September,” he said. “I’m going to turn over every stone to add depth and competition.”