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

Players, Experts, Fans Weigh in on Jordan Matthews Trade

Players, Experts, Fans Weigh in on Jordan Matthews Trade

Matthews caught 225 passes in his three-year Eagles career, averaging better than 110 targets per season.

Vanderbilt's all-time leading receiver will have to catch on with a new National Football League team.

Matthews had been rumored as trade bait for weeks.

Buffalo was fortunate to have a couple of teams that appeared to be good trade partners at this point in the preseason. Given the likelihood the Eagles would lose him after this year, they opted to trade him now for help in the secondary. "I think there has been a lot of talk about this (past) draft class being deep at wide receiver, but I'm real confident in (Matthews) being the best one out of the class". Matthews was a rookie that year and quickly impressed McCoy. He was fifth among all rookies in 2014 with 67 catches for 872 yards and eight touchdowns.

Agholor is now listed as the starting receiver in the slot with Bryce Treggs listed behind him.

Trading Matthews and a third-round pick is a bit of a head scratcher, but the writing was on the wall when the Eagles signed free agent wideout Alshon Jeffery. Darby has started 29 games in two years with the Bills.

Doug Pederson recently said that he does not expect Matthews to have a reduced role. Tight End Zach Ertz was next with 106, then Dorial Green-Beckham with 74. Modest numbers by most standards. Wentz went to Matthews on three of his four pass attempts against the Packers on Thursday.

Granted, the Eagles got a solid corner in Darby. They also get another former member of the Buffalo Bills, as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz continues to stockpile players from his previous stop.

And for the Eagles, this was about making the defense better right away: Darby should help immediately. Nelson Agholor, the Eagles' first-round draft pick in 2015, has been a standout during training camp after two disappointing seasons. That, in and of itself, may be the most short-sighted part of the decision. Darby, who is 5-11, 195, is just 23-years-old.

Because of the cost - a capable receiver and a third-round pick - Darby automatically becomes the centerpiece of this group.

In the first game of his pro career, Darby intercepted Indianapolis' Andrew Luck. To make up for the loss of Darby, the Bills acquired E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick from the Rams in exchange for wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

It is becoming clear the Bills are gearing up to build their team through the draft in 2018, and the timing of that move makes sense.

The Eagles gave up a receiver who had been historically productive in his first three years in the NFL.

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