Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Jordan Matthews Traded to the Bills

Jordan Matthews Traded to the Bills

If the Los Angeles Rams needed someone to vouch for wide receiver Sammy Watkins before acquiring him in a trade from the Buffalo Bills on Friday, they didn't have to go very far.

Buffalo also continued stockpiling 2018 draft picks by getting a second-round selection from Los Angeles and a third-rounder from the Eagles.

Buffalo let Stephon Gilmore leave in free agency to the Patriots and traded away Ronald Darby to the Eagles for the aforementioned Matthews and a 2018 third round pick.

Hue Jackson and company will not only have multiple first-rounders again in 2018, they now own three picks in the second round of next year's draft. Jordan Matthews is a big slot receiver and per PFF was the seventh-ranked wide receiver in target percentage when in the slot with 22.2 percent - right behind Larry Fitzgerald (22.8 percent). Clearly, the Rams value him as a legitimate No. 1 option for quarterback Jared Goff, who the team drafted first overall during the 2016 draft.

Matthews had been Philadelphia's most productive receiver, averaging 75 catches, 891 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his first three seasons.

Darby, 23, was a second-round pick of Buffalo in 2015 out of Florida State and represents an immediate upgrade for an Eagles CB depth chart.

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Buffalo is now the most recent team to see the value in stocking up future draft picks for a rebuild. The Ravens say offensive lineman Alex Lewis will miss this season with a shoulder injury and rookie Tim White will have season-ending surgery on his thumb. You don't know me if you think I'm throwing in the towel.

For now, that looks like good work from first-year general manager Brandon Beane, who was a candidate for the 49ers' opening last winter before they settled on John Lynch. However, the problem in Buffalo is simple: there doesn't appear to be a vertical threat on the roster.

This doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for Matthews, who was actually a teammate of McCoy's in the 2014 season, the 29-year-old's final season in Philadelphia. As players and coaches, they coach and we play.

But now, the team has given him a true playmaking #1 wide receiver. A recent report suggested some team employees believe Matthews could have practiced more but allowed his contract status to influence his decision-making, a charge that the Matthews strongly denied. (Brooks, coming off a ruptured quad tendon, injured his hamstring Thursday in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.) Inconsistency has plagued the group during the spring and summer, and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has made it quite clear that the competition is far from settled.

"We are going in a direction", McDermott said.

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