Eagles Solve Two Looming Issues with Jordan Matthews Trade

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Ronald Darby /

Wide receiver Jordan Matthews was dealt to the Buffalo Bills along with a 2018 third-round pick for cornerback Ronald Darby.

There’s nothing like sending fans into the weekend with plenty to talk about! The Philadelphia Eagles made headlines today by trading Jordan Matthews and a third round pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby. Although there were rumors about this move, it still comes as a bit of a shock. Matthews has been the one constant for the Eagles the last three years, and with so many new faces, Matthews was a source of familiarity. However shocking this move may have been, the Eagles effectively solved two issues that had been looming since the start of training camp.

The issue at cornerback

It has been no secret that the biggest question heading into this year was the cornerback position for the Eagles. The Eagles drafted Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones in the NFL draft, but Jones will most likely sit out this year, and Douglas needs to adjust to the speed of the game and show he can play. Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, and Ron Brooks are looked at as the veterans, but Mills has only played one year and Robinson has not had a good camp by any means. Brooks looks like he has recovered from his quad injury, but the team still seemed to be lacking that reliable player at the position.

Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles /

Philadelphia Eagles

By trading for Darby the team fixed that problem. Darby has been in the league for two years and has been very productive in that span. The young corner has 137 tackles, two interceptions, and 33 pass breakups in the last two years. He has shown that he can be the playmaker that the Eagles need. The move allows the Eagles to take their time developing the recently drafted corners. Since Darby is only 23 years old, this also sets the Eagles up for success in the long run. The trio of Darby, Jones, and Douglas in the future could finally bring stability to a group that has lacked it.

The issue at wide receiver

One of the biggest storylines in the offseason was the Eagles’ signing of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Next, the Eagles drafted wide receivers Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson to pair with Nelson Agholor and Matthews. Jeffrey, Smith, Matthews, Agholor, and Hollins were all locks to make the roster before last night’s game. That left the remaining wide receivers to duke it out for one remaining wide receiver spot. Young players such as Greg Ward Jr., Marcus Johnson and Bryce Treggs would be left off the roster or on the practice squad.

The trade effectively opens up two wide receiver spots for these young players to compete for. The wide receiver room loses a productive player and leader, but it gains two potential young playmakers that just needed an opportunity. The team will miss Matthews for sure, but the cupboard is in no means bare. The one other thing that this trade does is make it clear that the intention will be to extend Alshon Jeffery‘s contract next year. Since the team basically would have had to choose between the two, they decided to make a move now and continue to build toward the future.

Best of luck to Matthews

There is no doubt that Jordan Matthews will be missed in Philadelphia. He came to work everyday without complaint and showed that blue-collar toughness fans loved. But as they say, football is a business. With this move, the team, for lack of a better term, killed two birds with one stone. Matthews is a talented young player with loads of potential. It is safe to say that Eagles fans will be pulling for him as he starts a new chapter in Buffalo.