The worst kept secret in football is finally out. Jordan Matthews has officially signed a contract with the Eagles.
Matthews, who has been linked to a Philadelphia reunion for several weeks, will reportedly join the team after the bye week. The move was first reported by Jake Schwartz, then later confirmed by Ian Rapoport. The former second-round draft pick will be embarking on his third stint with the Eagles. He has 245 receptions for 2,973 yards and 21 touchdowns in parts of four seasons there.
Several outlets reported Tuesday that a deal to bring Matthews back to the nest was imminent. The Eagles further fueled speculation when they released safety Andrew Sendejo and placed receiver DeSean Jackson on injured reserve to create two open roster spots. Matthews was cut on Oct. 26 by the San Francisco 49ers after appearing in one game. He had zero catches.
The 27-year-old has long supported Carson Wentz going back to the quarterback’s rookie year in 2016. He has vehemently defended him against all odds, even when critics attacked him for being selfish.
“Everyone knows where I stand on Carson. Everyone knows he’s one of my great friends,” Matthews told SiriusXM NFL Radio last year. “People would know any type of slander to a guy of his caliber I think would honestly be a reach.”
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 Need Depth at Receiver, Fans Debate Antonio Brown
The depth at wide receiver isn’t good, to put it mildly. Starters Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor have struggled mightily with holding onto to the football as the Eagles are tied for second in the NFL in dropped passes. Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside haven’t provided any support off the bench.
GM Howie Roseman had been relying on DeSean Jackson to stretch the field with his speed, but that didn’t pan out. Jackson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after undergoing surgery on his abdominal muscle.
The Eagles have been linked to every available receiver in the league, from Robby Anderson to Josh Gordon to Donte Moncrief. They hadn’t traded for or claimed anyone off waivers until signing Jordan Matthews. There has been a growing underswell of support for the team to take a flier on Antonio Brown.
It’s causing quite a rift in Philadelphia as both fans and media attempt to justify signing Brown. The debate was on full display during a heated exchange between Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “First Take” show. The debate continues to rage on local sports talk radio in the City of Brotherly Love.
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