Woods, a Southern California native, signed a five-year contract with the Rams, the team's official website reports. The SoCal native and former USC standout got an irresistible offer, signing a five-year deal for a reported $39 million, including $15 million guaranteed. It's a surprising sum for a player who never reached 700 yards in a season despite starting 48 of his 57 games in four years with the Bills. The 2013 second-round selection does have a reputation as one of the better run-blocking wideouts in the league, and he's coming off a 2016 campaign in which he posted career-best marks for catch rate (67.1 percent) and yards per target (8.1). Woods will replace new Browns acquisition Kenny Britt, who caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns on 111 targets last season (15 games) for the Rams. While it initially appears Los Angeles downgraded without saving much cap room, Woods will celebrate his 25th birthday in April and thus may still have untapped upside, whereas Britt is an eight-year veteran who will turn 29 in September.
Woods is expected to sign with the Rams, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The deal is expected to be for five years and $39 million, which will include $15 million guaranteed. That seems like quite a bit for a receiver that's never eclipsed 700 yards in a season, but the Rams need a starting wideout with Kenny Britt likely headed to the Browns, while Woods gets to head back home to USC territory. Meanwhile, the Bills may be forced into taking a receiver with the 10th overall pick, as they currently have Sammy Watkins and a bunch of fringe players, almost none of whom has starting potential.
Woods, about to become an unrestricted free agent, said in a Sirius XM Radio interview last week that he'd prefer to be back with the Bills, though what the team decides to do with quarterback Tyrod Taylor will also be a factor, BuffaloBills.com reports. "I think there's always hope," said Woods. "I finished out well with them had a good talk with Doug Whaley upstairs ... I've got to speak with them and see their plans and see what happens with the quarterback decision there. Everything factors in. It has to be the right amount as well as the quarterback decision. They don't have a quarterback right now. Tyrod is a pending free agent. EJ Manuel is coming up as a free agent and there are many quarterbacks on the market as well. Who knows the decisions that are going on upstairs, but we'll all find out in a few weeks. I could see Buffalo still sticking with Tyrod most definitely." It also matters what the Bills want to do with Woods, who won't come cheap even though he's had modest but not great numbers since the team made him a second-round pick in 2013. We'll see where this leads, as the team has almost nothing at wideout right now after Sammy Watkins. If the Bills decide Woods is too expensive, or he's not interested in returning with a new quarterback, it's possible the team could take Mike Williams or Corey Davis with the No. 10 pick in the upcoming draft.
Woods caught four of five targets for 43 yards in Sunday's loss to the Jets, the seventh straight game he's failed to score. The fourth-year wideout finishes the season with a ho-hum 51 catches for 613 yards and just one touchdown in 13 games. The Buffalo passing game rarely clicked in 2016, while much of the team could be stripped down with a new regime coming in. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Woods, a decent receiver that competes on every play and has a decent set of hands, but one that doesn't offer much game-breaking ability. He's a decent complement to Sammy Watkins as a No. 2, but perhaps neither the player nor the team is fully comfortable it's a long-term solution. At the very least, we expect Woods - who's from the west coast -- to explore what's out there.
Woods caught three of six targets for 43 yards in Saturday's loss to Miami. Woods snapped a two-game streak with just a single catch on Saturday, but was still held under 55 yards for the tenth time in 12 outings this season. Woods, despite Sammy Watkins missing a chunk of the season, never got going in 2016. Next year might start off a little brighter. Though Tyrod Taylor's benching and EJ Manuel's start this Sunday raises plenty of questions for Buffalo's offense, Woods and Manuel have shown good chemistry in the past. Last season, Woods was targeted 19 times and recorded a team-high 13 catches in Manuel's two starts.
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