Why Buffalo Bills Trading Lee Evans to the Baltimore Ravens Was the Right Move

Robert QuinnCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20:  Wide receiver Lee Evans #83 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with the fans after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.  The Bills won 33-20.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

This afternoon, longtime Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth-round draft pick. Evans was a fan favorite in Orchard Park, and Bills fans and players alike are taking to Twitter to express their disappointment in the move.

Evans was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft, but the 30-year-old wide receiver hasn't exactly been an All-Star during his tenure in Buffalo.

Yes, he did have two seasons of recording over 1,000 receiving yards, but his last was in 2008. He's never caught more than 82 passes, which he did in 2006, and he never recorded one 10-touchdown season. Furthermore, he has taken a backseat to the up and coming Bills wideout, Stevie Johnson.

After coming off of the worst statistical season of his seven-year career, catching just 37 passes for 578 yards, and scoring just four touchdowns, Evans suddenly became expendable.

The Bills have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position with former undrafted rookie free agent David Nelson coming off of a promising year in which he caught 31 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns while seeing limited playing time.

Roscoe Parrish was having one of the best seasons of his career, making 33 receptions for 400 yards and scoring twice as coach Chan Gailey finally unleashed him from the dog house and found a niche for the slot receiver.

You can't write off Marcus Easley either, who missed his entire 2010 rookie season with an injury. Easley is a big, physical target, and if he can get it together and stay healthy, he can become a strong possession receiver in the Bills' offense. Also on the loaded wide receiver depth chart lies Donald Jones and Namaan Roosevelt.

Sports Illustrated's own Peter King traveled to the Bills' training camp and reportedly was very impressed with what he saw from Jones, and believes he is a fantasy football sleeper this year.

Overall, I loved Lee Evans, and he epitomized the athlete the city of Buffalo loves. He kept his mouth shut, never called out any of his horrendous quarterbacks and never publicly demanded new contracts or trades.

He will be a nice fit for young Joe Flacco now that his favorite weapons—Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Todd Heap—are gone. Evans never was and never will be a true No. 1 receiver, and playing with Anquan Boldin along with the strong rushing attack and defense that the Ravens have will fully allow him to live up to his full potential.