Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews is attempting a comeback after dressing for just two games last season for the San Francisco 49ers. The 28-year-old is hoping to latch on as a tight end in 2021, much like Tim Tebow.
Matthews, a second-round pick in 2014, was spotted at HUB Football on Monday for the first day of a series of free-agent tryouts for prospective NFL, CFL, USFL and USA Rugby scouts. His transition to tight end was first reported back on June 17 by ESPN’S Turron Davenport.
Matthews has recorded 274 receptions for 3,288 yards and 22 touchdowns in 75 career NFL games. The HUB Football website listed him at 235 pounds, up from his 215-pound playing weight last year for the 49ers. He has seen stints with three different NFL teams, including the Eagles, Bills, 49ers. The converted receiver is a distant relative to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice — his mother and Rice are first cousins, per NFL.com.
Receivers switching to tight end has been a growing trend dating back to 2019. The Eagles have two guys trying to make the jump in Hakeem Butler and Tyree Jackson. Darren Waller remains the standard bearer for hybrid players as he continues to state his claim for title of best tight end in football.
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Eagles Filling Backup Void at Tight End
There was speculation that the Eagles might take a flier on Matthews for what would be his fourth stint in Philly. He had been a favorite target for Carson Wentz and racked up 3,006 of his 3,288 career receiving yards in midnight green. However, Nick Sirianni and the new coaching staff appears ready to carve their own legacy.
The Eagles will enter training camp with Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Richard Rodgers, Hakeem Butler, Jason Croom, Tyree Jackson, Jack Stoll, Caleb Wilson all competing for roster spots at tight end. Goedert and Rodgers are expected to be one and two on the depth chart, with Ertz on the trading block.
“To play tight end, I always joke that it’s the second hardest position to play and I truly believe that,” new tight ends coach Jason Michael said at spring OTAs. “Because you’re playing running back, you’re playing offensive line, you’re playing wide receiver — and you’re doing it from a right-handed stance, you’re doing it from a left-handed stance, so all the adjustments and things you’re doing, you have to understand the big picture of the offense and not just one aspect of it.”
Shaun Bradley Held Youth Football Camp
Second-year linebacker Shaun Bradley held a youth football camp named in his honor this past weekend at Rancocas Valley Regional High School. It was open to children between the ages of 7 and 18 years old. Bradley personally ran the kids through a number of football drills as area coaches and family members chipped in.
Bradley, a sixth-round pick in 2020, had made it a priority to give back to the community once he made it to the NFL. The New Jersey native attended Rancocas for high school and starred at Temple University before getting drafted by the Eagles.