Jordan Matthews Flying the Eagles Nest?

Eagles Jordan Matthews

I have to start by saying that I’m an Eagles fan. I yell at people. I hate Cowboys fans from anywhere but Dallas because I think their entire personality is just that of a crumb. If you’re not sure what I mean, just think of the worst person you know and how they like to argue about everything. I digress…. In spite of what people hear about Eagles fans, I have to say that Eagles fans are incredibly intelligent, for the most part. Will we yell at you and fight you? Maybe, but we know our stuff…..at least I do (According to me). This brings me to thinking something a little outside the box, but that I’ve heard rumblings about. Jordan Matthews could be traded. I think the chances of that happening went up exponentially yesterday when the Eagles made a trade with the Ravens.

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Eagles made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to acquire Timmy Jernigan and the 99th pick in the draft. They gave up the 74th pick and moved back 25 spots. That’s a fantastic move for both teams in that it fills a hole for the Eagles at defensive tackle and the Ravens get to move up 25 spots for a player that they weren’t likely to re-sign. What does this have to do with Jordan Matthews you may ask? Let’s get to it. The Eagles have made several moves to solidify the wide receiver position this offseason with the signings of Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith. That gives the Eagles 3 legitimate receivers with defined roles. Why then, would the Eagles trade Jordan Matthews? For starters, his contract is up after this season. He’s likely to get between 8-10 million per season if he makes it to the open market. Would you want to pay a player who is clearly only a slot receiver that kind of money? I don’t (unless maybe it’s Jarvis Landry). The Eagles also signed Alshon to a one year deal, which means they’ll pay him more next season either in an extension or the franchise tag. That would be a lot of money locked into wide receiver and tight end if you include Zach Ertz.

Eagles Jordan  Matthews

Rich Schultz – Getty Images

Another reason I could see Matthews being traded is because of the direct impact of the Timmy Jernigan deal. The Eagles now have to wait 55 picks to draft after they pick 43rd. This is a draft that is incredibly deep through the top 100. You KNOW Howie Roseman will get another pick in that range because that’s what Howie Roseman does. He moves and shakes and eats pepperoni pizza and sausage (some of you might not get that, but it is in reference to Carson Wentz and Jared Goff last year).

Some of your best trade chips if you’re the Eagles are Jason Peters, Jordan Matthews, Jason Kelce, and Mychael Kendricks. Peters would likely fetch a 2nd and another pick, but I don’t know how likely he is to be dealt. I put that at about 25%, which is high. Next are Mychael Kendricks and Jason Kelce. Neither of those players will bring back a 2nd or 3rd round pick. They may be moved along with another pick to move up, but neither player will bring that back by themselves. This brings us back to Jordan Matthews. He will bring back at least a 3rd round pick, which may not seem like much for a player that has been as productive as he has, but in this draft, it’s a good price for a player you may lose after this season. The Eagles would simply be doing exactly what the Ravens did in the Jernigan deal and what the Patriots did by trading Jamie Collins. They’re pushing up the compensatory pick they would receive to this year. It’s the smart play.

You may be thinking who would fill the void in the slot if Matthews were to be traded. The first thing that comes to mind is a combination of things. The Eagles could use Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles in that role, as they have in the past. The Eagles could draft another tight end and use double tight end sets, thus making Matthews useless because he can’t play the X or Y receiver position. I have been an advocate of this for years.

The Eagles could also draft Christian McCaffrey and have him fill that role on certain downs as well. Finally, I’m going to get yelled at by many for this one just be saying his name. Nelson Agholor. Hear me out. His biggest problem the first 2 years in the league was drops. Matthews also had that issue. Agholor does not have problems creating separation, which would bode incredibly well if he is moved to the slot. He also runs very well once he gets the ball in his hands. You also get a cheaper option under contract for 2 more years (Without the 5th year option) at wide receiver on a player that has yet to live up to his talents.

Eagles Nelson  Agholor

David Maialetti – Philly.com

Agholor could have a chance reward the faith that the organization has had in him and be a useful player. I don’t think I would have written this article 2 days ago with this idea. Frankly, I’m shocked. But I honestly think he could be a good player (and fantasy option) if he plays the slot, assuming Matthews is traded. Also, don’t tell me the Eagles are going to cut Agholor. He costs more to cut than to keep. He’ll be on the roster unless a team wants to trade for him. So, if the Eagles get an offer for a 2nd or 3rd round pick for Matthews, do you really think the Eagles would turn it down? I don’t.

The biggest negative to the deal is the chemistry Matthews has developed with Wentz, but Wentz will get over it once he throws the ball to Alshon. I didn’t even mention above that I think the Eagles still might draft a wide receiver in the 1st round this year because most the receivers they have on their roster are up for new contracts after the season. That’s a distinct possibility. The question is, will the Eagles be drafting Matthews’ replacement? Is the replacement already there? Maybe I’m just nuts (I am…just ask people), but I think this has an 80% chance of happening now and I think the Eagles get better by doing it. We’ll see in less than 3 weeks. Go Birds.

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