Buccaneers or Lions told Sammy Watkins they'd trade up for him

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have targeted Sammy Watkins in a trade up. Or that may have been the Detroit Lions. Either way, neither scenario happened.

According to Sammy Watkins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have tried to trade up in the 2014 NFL draft for his services. The wide receiver told Pro Football Talk that he expected to be picked by the Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that 'they' told him they'd trade up for him. It's not clear whether that 'they' referred to Detroit or to Tampa Bay, or both (h/t Justin Pawlowski).

This does fit the report by Pro Football Talk that came out on the eve of the draft that the Buccaneers wanted to trade up, although PFT came out with another report saying the Bucs would target Johnny Manziel if they were to trade up. Given the fact that the Bucs stayed put and still passed on Manziel, we can safely say that at least the second report was false. 

If the Bucs were targeting Sammy Watkins in a possible trade up, it's not hard to see why they didn't pull the trigger. The Buffalo Bills eventually gave up two first-round picks and a third-rounder for the right to select Watkins. The Bucs wouldn't have had to go that far, but they would have had to give up substantial draft capital -- while by staying put, they still landed a top-notch receiver in Mike Evans.

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