The relationship between the Eagles and Jordan Matthews is one of the most complicated in sports. Like a stray puppy, the receiver always seems to find his way back to Philadelphia.
On Tuesday afternoon, PhillyVoice’s Jimmy Kempski started the rumor mill back up when he reported the Eagles had brought Matthews in for a workout at the team’s practice facility. A workout is usually the first step in signing a player, but not always. Matthews was released by the 49ers on Oct. 26 due to problems with a nagging knee injury.
Mack Hollins & J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Have Struggled
Following the news that Matthews had been released by the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 26, there were several reports that the Eagles might bring back a treasured artifact like Matthews. Remember, the Eagles selected him in the second round in 2014 (42nd overall).
Matthews has long been a favorite target of Carson Wentz and served as one of his groomsmen when the quarterback got married in 2018. While it wouldn’t be the splashiest move — or one that excited the fan base — it might be an upgrade over Mack Hollins or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at this point.
The Vanderbilt product hauled in 73 balls for 804 yards and three touchdowns in 2016, while developing amazing chemistry with Wentz. The then-rookie targeted Matthews 116 times during that first season.
In four productive seasons in Philadelphia, the 27-year-old recorded 245 receptions for 2,973 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also averaged 12.1 yards per catch.
Jordan Matthews is a ‘Carson Wentz Guy’
There is arguably no one in the NFL who relates to Carson Wentz better than Jordan Matthews. The two share a special bond, via their shared faith and on-field chemistry, and the quarterback is desperate right now to have someone on the roster that has his back.
The Eagles were forced to bring Matthews back into the nest last year when injuries decimated their receiving corps early in the season. Wentz was relieved to see the return of his reliable security blanket.
“Obviously, with Jordan, I feel good with him,” Wentz said in 2018. “He was gone only one season. He was here (last) training camp, even. He’s picking up on things pretty quick already. We’ll see as the week progresses how he looks and how he fits in and everything, but I feel comfortable with him, and, really, everybody else.”
When Wentz was diagnosed with a fractured back and shut down for the season following a December loss to Dallas, the receiver confessed he knew something was wrong.
Wentz wasted no time welcoming Matthews back by hooking up with him on a 56-yard touchdown strike in his second game last year. He finished with 300 yards and two scores on 20 receptions in 2018.
In addition to their working relationship, Wentz and Matthews were often spotted hanging out off the field. The receiver even traveled to Haiti to help Wentz’s AO1 Foundation build sports facilities and rocked AO1 cleats during games. Again, the familiarity there cannot be overstated.
Eagles Depth at Wide Receiver Weak Right Now
The depth at wide receiver isn’t good, to put it mildly. The Eagles will trot out starters Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor again this week, with Mack Hollins serving as the team’s No. 3 option. The latest updates on DeSean Jackson haven’t been encouraging.
Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is their fourth receiver but poor route running and drops have limited his snaps. The Eagles could promote former sixth-round pick Marcus Green from the practice squad moving forward.
For now, the roster is what it is. The addition of a trusted and known commodity like Jordan Matthews might not be the worst move in the world. Of course, they could always look to add a guy such as Robby Anderson in a trade.