With one year left on his contract, Jordan Matthews could be looking for a lucrative new deal. If the Philadelphia Eagles don’t want to pay up, these five players could replace him.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in an interesting situation at the wide receiver position. Since the departure of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia has been in desperate need of competent pass catchers.
Receiver Jordan Matthews, selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, has carried the load in recent years, posting 225 career receptions, 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons. Those numbers look impressive when compared to the first three seasons of receivers making big money, including the newly signed Eagle Alshon Jeffery.
Jordan Matthews – 225 receptions, 2,673 yards, 19 touchdowns
Julio Jones – 174 receptions, 2,737 yards, 20 touchdowns
Alshon Jeffery – 198 receptions, 2,921 yards, 20 touchdowns
Matthews has more receptions, only a few hundred less yards, and one less touchdown than the two receivers who can reasonably be considered elite. These numbers could allow Matthews to cash in on a $10+ million contract annually.
However, it likely won’t happen in Philadelphia for a few reasons.
The major reason is Matthews’s inability to thrive on the outside, playing the majority of his early career in the slot. His numbers are also boosted by Chip Kelly’s up-temp offense that played the most offensive snaps of any team each year, and featured the likes of Nelson Agholor, Miles Austin, Josh Huff and Riley Cooper as the supporting cast of receivers. Matthews’ numbers represent the production of a top receiver when in actuality he is more of a number two. The Eagles know this and that is why they invested in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.
After signing a one-year, prove it deal with Philadelphia, Jeffery will become a free agent once again next season and the Eagles will likely prefer to invest in the outside receiver over Matthews.
With the long-term uncertainty at wideout, the Eagles will likely want to add another pass catcher through the draft. Preferably one who can play both in the slot and on the outside.
Unless the Eagles want to invest $10+ million in two receivers next off-season, here are five cheaper alternatives for the Eagles.