Slot Mania

Posted: August 14th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 146 Comments »

How will the Eagles ever replace Jordan Matthews, the greatest slot receiver of all time?

I’m being over the top of course, but there seems to be a bit of an obsession on just how the Eagles will replace Matthews. Let’s start by talking about what they have to replace. If you go by the numbers, it seems pretty daunting. Matthews averaged 75-891-6 per season as an Eagle. That’s pretty good.

You do have to understand that he played for Chip Kelly for two of those years. The up tempo style meant a lot of plays. The more you’re on the field, the better your numbers will look. And you have to look at who he played with. Jeremy Maclin was the key to the passing game in 2014. The last two years, Matthews as the key. No other WR caught even 45 passes the last two years.

Matthews was good, but his numbers were inflated by who he played with. That was going to change this year with the addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Matthews just wasn’t going to catch 75 passes. Maybe 60. Maybe 50. Trying to predict numbers with so many new factors is nearly impossible, but Matthews wasn’t going to be the primary option.

The Eagles made it clear through the offseason that they were interested in mixing other guys into the slot. They drafted Donnel Pumphrey in the 4th round and have lined him up in the slot since spring. The Eagles signed Greg Ward to try to develop as a slot receiver. The Eagles drafted Mack Hollins, who can give them a big body on the inside. They started playing Nelson Agholor in the slot a lot back in the spring. These guys are faster, quicker or simply more dynamic than Matthews.

Matthews was 31st in the NFL in catches last year. He was 72nd in yards after the catch. Matthews is going to move the chains, but he’s limited as a playmaker. Jason Avant did a great job of that for the Eagles, but he was reasonably priced. Matthews isn’t the Eagles ideal slot guy so they weren’t going to pay him big money.

There won’t be one replacement for Matthews. Agholor will get most of the snaps inside, but several other guys will share that role this year.

There is risk in dealing a sure-thing like Matthews, but he’s not what Doug Pederson wants for this offense. Pederson wants players outside who can stretch the defense and get down the field. On the inside, Pederson wants players who can catch the ball and make something happen.

This was a risk worth taking.

*****

So far, so good for Ronald Darby.

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/897101772233347073

*****

Gotta see him do this in a game, but still very encouraging that he’s continuing to practice well. The pressure hasn’t affected him so far.

Thursday night will be huge for him.

_


  • BobSmith77

    Even before Matthews’ injury, the Bills described him in as a fill-in this year for Watkins.

  • phillychuck

    Matthews will be missed more as a locker-room leader and Wentz’s safety blanket (first look when play breaks down) than his overall production numbers. As a fan, I wish he didn’t have to go, but I realize that he wasn’t going to get paid by the Eagles.

    • wee2424

      Mathews is the least secure security blanket I have ever known.

      • DaO_Z

        2015 week 1 vs Falcons, off his hands to end the game…..case and point..

        • Guy Media

          That was so bad. Not Brian Finneran to the Cardinals for a pick 6 bad, but soooooo bad.

  • DJH

    Maybe Agholor plays better when he’s angry. Seriously. I hope he and Jenkins go at it all year. Or maybe he’ll be motivated by “taking over” for Matthews.

    Whatever. This offense could use explosive plays from him this year.

    Re slot by committee. I’d like to see more 2 and 3 TE sets to fill the void. I feel like we could be defenses in quite a bind with that formation. Extra big bodies to block; or release down the field to take advantage of LB coverage.

    • Tumtum

      Did they scuffle today?

  • Ark87

    Tommy I think you are being overly zero-sum in your thinking. True, quality alternative targets all but assure a smaller percentage of the pie, but a functional offense assures a much bigger pie. More sustained drives, more throws, more yards, more space. We’ll be fine because we got plenty of other players and and other interesting personnel packages. I feel secure enough in that, that I can admit Matthews probably would have had his best season this year, but that production will be there for the taking for someone else. Next man up.

    • eagleyankfan

      We can agree to disagree on what the outlook for Jmatt looked like. Two things learned from last year – Wentz was asked to throw way too much and the running game needs to be better in key spots. “More throws” should not be part of the game plan. Less throws, more production(read make bigger plays) plus the new ‘pound it in’ rb. Not saying he wouldn’t be good or excel at what he was going to be asked to do. Jmatt was set up for his worst production year as an Eagle.

      • Bert’s Bells

        fewer

        • Gary Barnes

          Thanks Davos

          • Bert’s Bells

            I was confident people would get it.

          • RobNE

            really didn’t like last episode. Their idea to convince Cersei 1) will not work without loss of life and 2) won’t convince her, at all, NFW, why even try. Dumbest idea I’ve heard in a long time.

          • Bert’s Bells

            It’s a pretty dumb plan. Seems like a lot of treading water until the big reveals and and final conflict.

      • Ark87

        See thats the thing. When offenses make a leap, all the players in that offense tend to have a spike. IE: McCoy, Jaccpot, and Riley Cooper all had career years when they went from a string of mediocre offenses to one of the best offenses in the league. The next year, Jaccpot was gone, injuries happened, the offense was bad, and everyone had a bad year. JMatt was primed for a big year because he was about to be part of a good offense for the first time in his career. That jump would be from the people around him, not personal growth.

        That’s the whole reason he’s gone. We didn’t want to pay for that inflated production resulting from the improved team around him (as opposed to personal growth/value). That would be buying high, bad business. If he was primed for a bad year, we would have been able to pay him.

  • wee2424

    I am so afraid he is just going to mentally crumble once the adversity hits.

    • or____

      Sounds more like a lot of Eagles fans than Ags to me (joking)…. (kind of)

  • Guy Media

    How about Zach Ertz block better from the TE position so we don’t have any primary slot receiver at all? I’d rather this team play more “12” and “21” than it does “11.” Groupings of Alshon, Torrey, Ertz, Sproles, and Blount would do just fine.

    • eagleyankfan

      Paying 3 TE’s the way the Eagles are paying – you’d think the TE’s would be more prominent in the game plan.

      • Guy Media

        Correct. They need to be more successful with “12”, but Celek getting paid a king’s ransom to catch less than one ball a game has been brutal. Again, if Ertz would simply put a little more desire into blocking and/or time in the weight room, we might be able to play more “12” with both Ertz and Burton………or if we didn’t have Kittle and Spinkle picked right before we got Gibson, we’d have a better 2nd blocking option here.

  • eagleyankfan

    Eagleswire report Burton thrown in the mix at slot as well…going to be interesting…

    • Guy Media

      That works for me as long as Ertz is handling his business blocking while Burton is split out.

  • Gary Barnes

    Why do we need to do a hit piece on Matthews to justify the trade?

    Matthews is a good player as is Darby. Give to get. Time will tell if Roseman was right or wrong.

    The element of Matthews that gets overlooked and what I liked about Matthews the most is what type of person, teammate and representative of the Eagles he was. That is what will be missed most. I’m hoping the Eagles realize the value of that.

    The other overlooked element is why the Eagles were so desperate for a quality CB – their consistent failures to draft or develop CB talent has really hurt this team for years. This is the latest attempt to rectify that position and comes on the heels of the Eagles again entering a TC and preseason with a very mediocre to poor CB corps. I’m hoping Douglas was heavily involved in this Darby acquisition and Schwartz was on board to make sure he fits the scheme well. We really need this one to finally pan out in our favor.

    • Dave

      Since drafting Lito and Sheldon with 1st and 2nd round picks in 2002, the Eagles have drafted a corner in the 1st or 2nd round once (until this year)…Eric Rowe.

      They used 3rd round picks twice…Matt Ware in 2004 and Curtis Marsh in 2011.

      Odds were stacked against the Eagles developing 4th rounds picks or later into reliable starters.

      • Gary Barnes

        That’s why I stated draft OR develop CB talent – that includes all the mediocre vet, UDFA and retread acquisitions that have also failed.

        It is not only on the acquisition side, but also on the development side – failure across the board that needs to be understood and called out.

        We had to give up good talent and a valuable draft pick in the latest attempt to fix it – again. One reason we have not made the playoffs since 2013 or won a playoff game since 2008.

        • Dave

          In reality, I don’t think many mediocre vet, UDFA, and retread acquisitions ever get developed by any team.

          • Gary Barnes

            I’m not sure what your point is. The Eagles have done a horrible job of drafting, developing and finding CB talent recently. Those failures have led us to spending other valuable assets to fill the void, the Matthews + 3rd rd pick for Darby being the latest example. Are you disputing that or ?

          • Dave

            My point is clear, unless CBs are taken high in the draft, they have a high failure rate regardless of what team drafted them.

            Was Richard Sherman developed? I’m not so sure. He started 10 games as a rookie 5th round pick and was named on the PFW All-Rookie Team. His talent was always there. Did Seattle get the best out of him with only less than 6 months of coaching?

            Let’s stick with Seattle. Did they develop Byron Maxwell, a 6th round pick? I’m not so sure of that either. He was put into the starting lineup in his 3rd season lining up with 3 All Pros in Sherman, Chancellor, and Thomas. He came to Philly, got paid, and threw in the towel.

            Let’s not forget about scheme. Playing press-man coverage is much different from playing Cover 3 zone.

            You seem to believe the Eagles are failures because they have shown no ability to polish a turd.

          • Gary Barnes

            Clear as mud IMO, lol. Why are they choosing turds then?

            That is the crux of the issue and my point. They have chosen and developed poorly at the CB position via the draft, FA, UDFA etc.

            Again, I’ll ask do you dispute that the Eagles have failed at the CB positon recently?

          • Dave

            You’re taking the damned if they do, damned if they don’t mentality. You criticize them for not drafting CBs high for the past 15 years. What if they did and they had good stability at the position, you’d then rail on the team for neglecting another position. Sometimes I forget that you are a glass half empty type of person when I reply to your posts and that you’ll always find fault in the team.

          • or____

            They are choosing turds because that’s what the draft is. You seem to not factor in perspective of what the NFL really is about in terms of CB #s of quality guys, reasonable expectation of drafts, and the reality of expectations in the NFL.

            It would be like saying “why can’t the Phillies at least draft 3 hitters that average 5 or 600? That’s unacceptable”…

          • A Roy

            Most of the problem is drafting turds in the first place. Let’s see what this year’s draft looks like in a couple years.

    • ChoTime

      Their inability to draft CB and WR has been a big weakness of this team. We’ll see about QB.

    • eagleyankfan

      There is nothing about Jmatt that’s overlooked. He’s a nice guy. Plays well. He will be missed – for about a 5 seconds. And what exactly is the value of that? SB rings? Division titles? Player of the week parking spots? Dime a dozen.
      ….
      “other overlooked” — only second year of Pederson(not saying he’s my guy) and he drafted CB’s including one who is touted as the premier CB in the draft. Maybe you’re looking at HR when you say those things. I agree – they’ve been terrible — but all indications point to — they are trying to fix what’s been a failure.

  • Guy Media

    I find Mack Hollins interesting here. Yes, you’d be able to use him in the slot at times. I’d rather have him get a good number of snaps spelling Alshon on the outside. Specifically I’d like him spelling Alshon for the exact number of snaps and the specific snaps that would have resulted in Alshon missing any regular season games due to soft tissue injuries.

    • A Roy

      He should be able to run enough different routes that he can spell AJ for 10+ plays…15%…and still be a member of the “slot receivers by committee.”

  • Guy Media

    Ryan Mathews physical day. HE BETTER PASS!

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Why…so we can cut him and scrape up some guy off the street who won’t make the final 53…other than the frustration of Matthews being akin to Glass Man from the Unbreakable movie…I just don’t get all the excitement of cutting Matthews…yeah we will save some money on the cap but that is inevitable with him…its not like we are going to do some sort of significant move or get some descending veteran CB on the cheap like say Revis…

      • Guy Media

        No, so that entire $4 million we’re due comes off of the cap and can be rolled into extensions for Alshon and/or Jernigan. That $4 mil is a big deal.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Is it cap space that we can roll to next year? Also what happens to the money if he doesn’t pass a physical? I would expect us to still do an injury settlement…

          • Bert’s Bells

            Mathews health has pretty much zero effect on the Eagles ability to handle the cap.

          • Nick C

            Not true. If Mathews is released with an injury settlement we only save 2.85M on the cap instead of 4. Also any unused cap this year can be rolled over to next. And 2018 is where we are up against it. *Right now*

          • Guy Media
          • Bert’s Bells

            I only read his earlier piece which skirted the injury settlement/cap issue.

          • Guy Media

            Yes, all space can be rolled. And the injury settlement would diminish that number. He’s already been paid enough for his “availability” and “production.”

          • Buge Halls

            If he passes, there is no injury settlement – that $4 mil can be rolled over to next year’s cap. So it’s HUGE!

          • Guy Media

            Exactly. 4/167 = 2.4% of cap. To add that into a place we actually want here rather than Mathews is quite beneficial.

          • D3FB

            It would have been 1 million in an injury liability because he was hurt last season.

      • Bert’s Bells

        He’s already not counted against the cap…

        • Tom33

          that’s actually not true. According to Spotrac, he counts $5 mil vs the cap this year. So they save $4 by releasing him, as Guy/Mike says below.

          http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/cap/

          • Bert’s Bells

            Bring it up with D3FB who’s linked to multiple sources that show a player who’s on the injury reserve in the offseason isn’t counted against the cap.

            That is, he has a cap hit if he’s not injured. Right now, the league doesn’t count the money. So it’s a non-issue.

          • Guy Media

            But it will be soon.

          • Buge Halls

            He’s not counted until he either passes or fails his physical. If he passes, he’s back on the roster immediately until they release him. That’s when the cap numbers hit and also when they need to make a roster move to fit him on – or cut him. So, yeah, it’s kind of an issue.

          • D3FB

            If he never cleared his physical he would have counted for $1million in liability payment against the cap.

            So to recap:
            Never passes: 1 million
            Passes and cut: 0
            Passes and kept 4 million

          • or____

            Which would end up having implications for……..?

      • or____

        If I were you I wouldn’t worry about Guy Media’s expressing of his impatience – it’s not based in anything other than his personal desires.

        • Guy Media

          If he’s not cleared by the start of the season, it is based on $4 of cap that we’ll lose. You can feel free to tell me “see, it worked out” after it works out. I need utter surety that our cap gets full relief.

          • or____

            Ok. Good luck with your needs. I’m cool with the Eagles cap situation in the big and small picture.

          • Guy Media

            Well, they just cleared him so you can feel free to re-bust my chops with impunity on it. And I’m not cool with the cap until all long term deals/situations we need done are done.

          • or____

            Fair enough. And I only mean it in jest – respect for your beer chops.

          • Guy Media

            Yeah, I need to remind myself not to get too worked over the manner in which you jest because I don’t always take your word choice the right way initially.

          • or____

            Never intend to be hurtful, 100%.

            Type on the internet is so limiting in context, tone, etc…

  • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

    Iggles, with expensive vets at several key positions, don’t have a pick in the 2nd or 3rd round in next year’s draft. That will be more important longterm than losing Jordan Matthews in the slot, IMHO.

    • scratcherk

      I would be shocked if the draft came and went and that were still the case. Howie will get us a second and/or third round pick next year, no doubt. The Rowe trade could be a 3rd. If not, we’ll have 3 fourth round picks. Potential trade pieces in Kendricks and Kelce. Plenty of ammo to move up.

      • Bert’s Bells

        Yeah and the possibility of losing out on a 2nd round player who would be better than Wentz plus a third who would be better than a starting CB are pretty slim.

        • or____

          Exactly.

      • Sb2bowl

        I really doubt that the NE pick will turn into a 3 for us; not with what they have in their secondary and how they like to rotate/sub players in and out. Plus, Belicheat will have a stats guy let him know where Rowe is in relation to 50% of the snaps so that they can keep their 3rd.

        • scratcherk

          agree, i’ll bet money he plays 49% tops.

          • Stephen E.

            Even Belicheat can’t cheat the injury bug. If one of his starters is hurt, he’ll play Rowe.

          • Sb2bowl

            Last year his secondary stayed very healthy, and they had less talent when compared to this year- and Rowe still didn’t hit the 50% mark.

            I’m guessing that they would need to lose both Gilmore and Butler in order for Rowe to have a shot at 50%.

        • Anders

          I wonder what people will say if Rowe do not play 50% snap again.
          Maybe Schwartz was right not to like him if Belichick cant even get 50% out of him?

          • Sb2bowl

            People will continue to bang the “why did we trade Rowe” drum- regardless of what happens with his playing time.

            But you make a good point, maybe he really wasn’t that good, and our lack of CB depth just made him look like the shiniest turd in the pile?

    • or____

      Yes, but it’s not as big of a deal as many make it out to be.

    • Mac

      3rd round pick, or a CB who can (and already has) played CB in the NFL for 2 years… I’m not hesitating to call that a win.

    • Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard

      Not saying that makes the trade bad or anything, but thats how I view the terms of the trade.

  • Dave

    Unrelated to this thread, but for those that like statistical analysis, this is a pretty good read on kickers.

    http://settingedge.com/40pluskicks

    • Anders

      Caleb Sturgis comes out poor here btw

      • Dave

        I don’t think that’s much o a surprise. He seems to struggle with longer kicks.

      • Guy Media

        Sturgis, for two years in a row, seems to have missed easy kicks early in the season. That sets a worse impression of his overall abilities as a kicker in my eyes that winds up being worse than his final numbers. Shame their doctors / trainers screwed up the diagnosis on Parkey so f-ing badly. That dude had really good potential.

        • Anders

          Sturgis comes out poor in long kicks, he actually comes out above average in the easy kicks department

  • Guy Media

    YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    https://twitter.com/BrandonGowton/status/897472091364220933

    Now “or” can bust my chops for being overly nervous about this.

    • Guy Media
      • Dave

        I liked Matthews. He seemed like a good guy and an outstanding player that was burdened by lots of injuries. His most current injury was very serious and I’m sure he endured an extremely hard and painful rehab.

        Yup, he dropped some passes and had a key fumble that led to a loss, but I still think he was worth the salary he was paid, unlike the schlump RB who signed right after him and whined his way out of Philly.

        • Guy Media

          True on the juxtaposition with Murray for sure, but Mathews put my money to sleep in fantasy as a Charger one year with his lack of staying on the field; so I’m holding that grudge.

          • John Luck Pickerd

            One does not simply rely on Mathews in fantasy

          • Guy Media

            He got me his 3rd year in the NFL. He was coming off of a pro bowl and 14 games played. I figured he’d turned a corner; whoops.

  • DJH

    Re slot

    Use Ags in the middle of the field so he can use his speed to stretch things. Use Burton in the red zone/3rd down as a blocker or to use size to take advantage of matchups

    • Guy Media

      I’d really rather have a 2nd RB who I can move around and/or keep both TEs in-line until I want to split them out over starting with 3 WRs and/or the TE already split.

      • DJH

        Yes, I’m thinking have Burton and Ertz inline w/ Blount in the backfield. Have two tight ends to block. However, if the matchup on Ertz or Burton is in our favor, Wentz checks to a play to take advantage. That’s an advantage we have with Ertz and Burton being TE/WR hybrids. I feel like we need to do a better job of taking advantage.

        Having said that, both of them need to be much more consistent with their blocking or that simply won’t work.

        • Guy Media

          Ertz is listed at 250. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask him to properly block players who weigh less than he does.

  • johhnyblaze

    Mathews release now official

  • phillychuck

    We are now Matthews-less and Mathews-less. In less than a week…

    • D3FB

      Matt Tobin and McGloin are not long for the roster either.

      • Sokhar20

        I hear Matt Barkley and Casey Matthews were also executed as part of our clandestine Matt-Purge.

      • SteveH

        Do you think we keep McGloin if Foles’ arm can’t get healthy? Or do we cut McGloin and go shopping for a cheap backup?

        • Green Sea Turtle

          Make an offer to Kap?

        • Anders

          I keep Evans over him

        • D3FB

          McGloin was brought in so that they had a vet on the street who knew the playbook. He was only ever going to be brought in if Wentz went down for a few weeks and you needed someone capable of backing up Foles who was experienced and knew what we do.

          Foles seems to be fine.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Can we resign Steven Daniels now? He’s on pace to break Vandervelde’s record of re-signings.

    • johhnyblaze

      I think he signed with the giants today

  • Tumtum

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. I think Jordan would of had the most catches once again this year. Is everything else true? Yeah I would say so. He isn’t that dynamic. His hands aren’t the best. He is still a good starting receiver at the very least. He has proven to be pretty healthy over the years (chip excluded, but he won’t miss any games). As Tommy said, he is a sure-thing. In a league where almost nothing is assured…I find a great amount of value in that trait.

    Torey Smith and Alshon could prove to be a great tandum. I really liked both signings. Problem is that both of them are quite far from a sure thing. I felt Jordan would provide the stability in the trio, and that they would form one of the better units in the league. If Torey and Alshon were the bricks, Jordan was the mortar. Hope other guys can fill that role.

    Just because I know people will insinuate that I disagree with the trade….saying here, I don’t.

    • Mac

      Acceptance and hope is often the final stage of grief. (that was quick)

      • Tumtum

        Nah man I’ve been stoked since I heard about the trade from NFL mobile alerts

        • Mac

          Haha, yeah i got the vibe. It is true though that a person can be bummed out to see a player go, yet even more excited for the new player.

    • DaO_Z

      Problem is you’re describing $3-5m talent that has put up $10m numbers…..he wasn’t gonna get paid here, and they upgraded their CB room in return for someone they wouldn’t have gotten anything for next year…

      He really wasn’t that reliable…he wasn’t automatic and had his bad moments..Just gets less grief than Ags cause he wasn’t a 1st rd pick and he catches a lot of passes….Avant was automatic, if JM had that consistency, he would still be wearing green…

      • Tumtum

        I was going to counter your point because I disagree with it, but then I realized you didn’t read my post, because you don’t think I agree with the trade.

        • DaO_Z

          I know you “agree” with the trade…it’s the last line of your post…i don’t even have to go up to it to know that, cause i DID read your post…

          Contention I have with your post is more about the actual value of JM…He was reliable, but came up small in big moments….some of his biggest drops were when we needed catches to extend drives at the end of games..His numbers make him look more valuable then he actually was(3M talent w/ 10M #’s); he’s a complimentary piece that people are acting like he’s the “glue”…or “mortar”…of the wr group..

          Avant was automatic on 3rd downs to extend drives, you can’t tell me you felt the same way about JM…cause I’m sorry, but his hands weren’t THAT good..

          I loved JM too, but he started to get the rose colored glasses treatment; because he was the best we had…He was king of the midgets..

          • Tumtum

            Well my argument was about this year. Alshon had his best years next to a high volume, less dynamic WR in Marshall. Torrey feels like he would be at his best with a low volume. Jordan makes this grouo exponentially better than Avant would…though I would take Avant any day over everything we have for the slot.

            You keep talking about money which has nothing to do with actual results right now, which is what you were using to counter me. That is why I figured you didn’t read my post. Your points are salient and legit, just sort of outside the realm of amything I was talking about.

          • DaO_Z

            I was only using #’s as an analogy for JM’s value…I don’t think his stat’s portray his actual talent level or ability..I was just trying to say that people over value JM because of his stats..

            AJ may not have Marshall across from him, but the Eagles do have plenty of other pieces to distract the Defense. They can blanket AJ and open things up for Ertz, Sproles…etc etc…If JM was the benefit of that it would just have more people pointing to his stats…The Eagles need more dynamic play makers getting the ball.. Without JM, that is now a better possibility; and they upgraded the CB room by miles in the process. JM was good, but I think the Eagles are better off this year, and can better evaluate what they have without him getting too much of the pie…It should actually be a positive for both this year and the future; they need speed getting the ball..You can only have a JM/Avant slot WR when you have a Desean type on the outside..All other slot WR’s are shifty with speed or quickness..

    • Someguy77

      I still like the trade even if people on here really seem to discount the value Matthews had here & would have had this year.

      It really puts a lot of pressure on Jeffrey to stay on the field and be productive.

      • Patrick

        I still like the trade too. Getting Darby is crucial, not just for this year but for the future. Darby, Sidney Jones, Mills and Rasul Douglas, that could actually turn out decently.

        I think my main issue, which I mentioned on another post, is that seemingly people dont think there will be a drop off offensively, especially since everyone thinks its because of Agholor because he had a good camp, which is ridiculous.

        Still a good trade, especially considering the circumstance with Matthews contract running out, although our tendency to trade away future draft picks is a little worrying. But IMO there will without a doubt be a drop in our offense. Our passing game should still be better than last year, but I can’t see a situation where the offense with JMatt is significantly better than without JMatt. Its just that our offense being better next year really isn’t that important, because we’re not winning it all this year. In that similar vein, value for JMatt now is much better than pretty much not getting any a year from now, where he’d sign a much bigger contract than we would give him. I’d even doubt well end up getting a good conditional pick for him, even if we imagine than Howie doesn’t sign a big FA, which seems unlikely.

        • Tumtum

          It does seem like Howie gets those picks back. Not sure about the value we got here, but love that Howie doesn’t over value picks like some GMs.

          • Patrick

            That is true, and the whole thing looks worse because of the Wentz trade and that missing 2nd, but we got Wentz. If we had a 1st, 2nd, no 3rd but 3 4ths, people would be more forgiving of the missing pick.

            Regardless of how that turns out, you either have a QB in the NFL or you’re irrelevant, and I think going to get your guy is basically always the right move. Sucks when you pay what the Redskins does and miss on the player, but still, you can keep building your team all you want, without the QB you’re not getting a ring, and a Brees level QB isn’t in FA very often.

          • Someguy77

            The Eagles essentially traded a 3rd pick next year for Darby. All the reports were the Bills were really interested in with this deal.

            If the Eagles make the playoffs, this pick is a late 3rd round pick and the Eagles got a starting CB for 2 years.

            The bigger issue to me about this trade is the Eagles traded for a CB who can’t make big plays (INTs) and drifted at times last year with too many lackluster games. Eagles are relying upon their coaching staff to push him to be more consistent and focused this year like he was in his rookie year.

      • Insomniac

        No not really. His one year contract motivates him more than Matthews trying to unseat him for the #1 WR spot.

    • Dave

      Not sure I agree with this assessment.

      Alshon is more of a sure thing than JMatt. If you are worried about his injuries, he seems to be more of an injury risk than Alshon…

      http://sportsinjurypredictor.com/player/jordan-matthews/6963

      http://sportsinjurypredictor.com/player/alshon-jeffery/5088

      As for Jordan having the most catches again, I see him as the 3rd option at best, especially on third down.

      Every reporter has indicated Alshon is far and away the best receive on the team. Why would the team not make him the first option for a far inferior pass catcher?

      • eagleyankfan

        Jmat gets traded and suddenly AJ is chop liver. I don’t get it. AJ can be a beast(he’s already proven that). Talk about ceilings — AJ ceiling is top 10 wr. Could JM break the top 50? If AJ isn’t the first option on most plays – Pederson won’t be here long. (then again, no guarantee AJ will be here long :))

        • Tumtum

          Of course he is the top target, and would be with JM here. They are not running the same routes, and aren’t asked to do the same things. Wide receivers are not running backs. 3 see the field on average plays.

          When has Alshon had his best years? When Brandon Marshall was on his team.

          I don’t think Alshon isn’t awesome. I think JM makes him better.

          You are right about one thing though. Alshon probably won’t be here long.

      • Ark87

        My buddy is a die-hard Bear’s fan. Vouches for AJ all day. Better than people think. One of the best in the league. But says only when healthy. It’s not so much about missing games as much as being a total shell of himself when he tries to play through injuries.

        • Tumtum

          This. I had him in fantasy last year and he had many down games from nicks and bruises. I agree he is a beast…sometimes.

    • ChoTime

      JM’s an okay player and probably would have helped the team out to some degree, but we needed talent at CB. There is a chance, although small IMO, that he wouldn’t have been in the top 3 WRs this year.

      • Tumtum

        I agree with the trade. I disagree he wasn’t going to have 70+ catches

        • ChoTime

          Hm, 39 WRs had 70 or more catches last year. Only in two cases (ATL and BAL) were those two players on the same team.

          It’s certainly possible JM could have pulled in 70 of those, assuming he didn’t get beat out as a starter, but AJ’s presence makes that far less probable IMO.

          In AJ’s two healthy years, he averaged 87 catches. There were 380 catches to be had on the Eagles last year.

          • Tumtum

            I’m gonna be happy and surprised if he gets 80 catches even without JM.

    • A_T_G

      When the compensation was presumed to be draft picks, I did not support trading Matthews just to insure we got value before he walked.

      I think there is a good chance we are a better team as a result of this trade. Darby will be the key. If he is good, it was a smart trade. If he is another in a long line of CBS that brought hope and left disappointment in their wake, then it was not.

      But I understand the thinking that it will be easier to replace the production at WR than it would have been to patch the hole in the secondary.

      • Tumtum

        I agree completely. It just feels like Tommy was trying to minimize what Jordan brings to the table. I think if he was here he has the same role he always had.

        • Ark87

          agreed, people’s views are just a tad too convenient. It’s okay to admit both teams gave up something valuable and got something they needed. We don’t have to pretend that JMatt was going to be useless in this “Stacked” group, and that a 3rd round pick is basically a lotto ticket. Basically gave up nothing for a great Corner!

          Darby was costly, and if he’s what we think he is, he was weeeell worth it. It’s a great move.

          Full disclosure: I don’t think we are stacked with pass catchers. Do I like Smith? Noooope. Do I trust Agholor to suddenly not be a headcase that we can count on? Nooope (the drop definitely didn’t help). But I think they can all thrive just fine IF Alshon stays healthy. If Alshon gets hurt we are worse than we were last year w/o Jmatt, imo. That’s what we gave up in my mind, but again, it was worth it.

  • Guy Media

    General question for the concert going folks here; how early can one get into the Campbell’s Field lots in Camden on a week day for concert tailgating? I’m having trouble finding the answer via google or twitter.

  • A_T_G

    For any of you that are not great with numbers, this is pretty good value.
    https://twitter.com/jimmykempski/status/897531591949516800

    • Insomniac

      but but Howie sucks.

    • Anders

      Should be noted that some of that cap space was made borrowing from future seasons.

      • sonofdman

        It also should be noted that the unused cap space rolls over to next season.

  • Ark87

    Darby is brutally honest. Happy to be here? Meh, not as bad as it could have been. Pretty much happy to be here. Hahaha, I like it. Hopefully he comes to love working with that D-line, Malcolm Jenkins, and Schwartz. There is a sense of swagger these guys exude (even the crappy CB’s), hopefully it is contagious.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Agreed, but Ricky Watters was also brutally honest.

      • Ark87

        loved him too, though I was a child then.

        • Tumtum

          Same

    • ChoTime

      Sconces 2.0?

      • BlindChow

        Except with, you know, talent? (hopefully)

      • Ark87

        ok that one I wasn’t a fan of

  • Someguy77

    New and Improved Agholor! Now with 110% more catchiness!

  • bushisamoron

    Trading Matthews is very Belichek-like move. Inflated stats, end of rookie deal, other options for the position. Hate to lose the pick more than the player but Birds were desperate.

  • daveH

    Ainam tols.

  • Insomniac

    Matthews being a sure thing? Sure in certain scenarios where he’s the #1 WR and on a more offense friendly team. Now the variables have changed and he’s no longer a sure thing. Which kind of contradicts him being a sure thing on any team besides the 2016 Eagles.

  • Insomniac

    So what’s actually left from the Chip Kelly era?

    Lane Johnson
    Zach Ertz
    Malcolm Jenkins
    Jordan Hicks
    Trey Burton
    Donnie Jones
    Caleb Sturgis
    Nelson Agholor
    Jaylen Watkins
    Chris Maragos
    Beau Allen

    • Anders

      List of players from the Reid era

      Jason Peters
      Jason Kelce
      Brent Celek
      Nick Foles
      Brandon Graham
      Fletcher Cox
      Vinny Curry
      Mychal Kendricks

      3 players who should still have been here

      Desean Jackson
      Jeremy Maclin
      Lesean McCoy

    • DaO_Z

      Sproles…..

      The list of players he got rid of is PAINFUL…so much talent got squandered…If the team wasn’t going in the upward direction right now, a lot of people would want to kill CK….