When the news first broke that the Eagles are entertaining trade options for Jordan Matthews, I was bit surprised and perturbed.
I’ve long been on the Jordan Matthews bandwagon and think his drops are bit blown-up. The first step to recovery is admitting to your problem and I’m admitting that Matthews has drop issues ONLY in big spots. See, look I admitted it.
My problem isn’t with Jordan Matthews the player.
It’s just the situation the Eagles are in right now.
I actually think Matthews would thrive as the third banana of this receiving core. With Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith manning the outside, Matthews should be able to pick apart the middle of the field and pick up monstrous amounts of YAC.
We would see the best J Matt as the third option on this football team, but the problem with that, and the threat of him going off, is that the Eagles are going to have to pay the man after this season and I don’t want to live in a world where Matthews is getting $40 million to be a receiver on this team. And save me your Alshon Jeffery takes. That guy is here for the long term barring a career threatening injury. He signed here to grow WITH Wentz and help him develop into an MVP candidate, not leave the best QB situation he’s been in during his career. So yes, he’s only signed here for one year, but if he puts up a typical Alshon year, than you are looking at giving him around $60 million.
On top of that, the Eagles will have around 16, yes 16, free agents that will need to be paid or let go next offseason. The Eagles simply won’t be able to keep Matthews around unless he takes a major discount.
That’s why the Eagles have to trade Matthews on draft night.
Maybe I’m just head-over-heels in love with the receiver prospects in this draft, but I guarantee you that the Eagles can find a slot receiver that will put up similar to better numbers than Matthews, at a way lower price going forward. Walk out of this draft with either Corey Davis, John Ross, and Mike Williams in the first round or Zay Jones, Taywan Taylor, Carlos Henderson, ArDarious Stewart and Chris Godwin in the later rounds, in addition to the money you save by not resigning Matthews, and you’re in a much better position. All of those guys have the same, if not higher, upside than Matthews and will cost less while filling out the rest of the roster on deals that are hopefully longer than 1 year.
So what would you trade Matthews for?
I’ve seen a lot of people asking for a second or third round pick in return for Matthews, but I don’t see that happening with another deep receiver class and with his upcoming contract negotiations. I would take a fourth for Matthews and use some of that ammunition in the fourth round to move around in the draft. That would give the Eagles 3 fourth round picks and much more flexibility.
Teams trade good players before they have to be paid all the time. Just look at what Bill Belichick has done in New England and what the Ravens just did with Timmy Jernigan.
To me, the best option for this Eagles team going forward would be to move Matthews for a mid-round pick, get a little cheaper at the position, without much drop off, save that money to resign Alshon and go from there rather than overpaying for a middle tier player.
And hey, maybe Nelson Agholor will breakout as the third receiver on this team!
I’m kidding, put down your pitchforks.