Eagles trade Jordan Matthews to Buffalo for CB Ronald Darby
Bills trade Sammy Watkins to Rams for CB E.J. Gaines.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) August 11, 2017
Wow is the best way to describe this trade. After assuring the media on 8/8/17 that Jordan Matthews would not have a reduced role in the offense coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles traded away Matthews and a 3rd round pick for cornerback Ronald Darby. I suppose technically Pederson didn’t lie, I’m sure Matthews will be a big part of the Bills’ offense in 2017. But that’s an issue for Buffalo and their fans to concern themselves with. Let’s take a look at how this effects the Eagles in 2017 and beyond.
At first blush not much really changes for Wentz. Instead of Matthews being the WR2 for the Eagles now it will be Nelson Agholor in that role. Wentz is the franchise QB and every move that’s made by the Eagles is made with that in mind. If Matthews wasn’t in the team’s plans beyond 2017 it makes sense to move him now. Moving Matthews now allows Wentz to build in-game rapport with Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. Agholor is still on his rookie contract and will be with the team in 2018, where Matthews’ contract was up at the end of this coming season. Hollins, along with Shelton Gibson, was added to the roster in this past draft and the coaches have raved about him all off-season.
Where things get interesting (frightening?) for Wentz is if Alshon Jeffery is unable to remain healthy. Without Jeffery, this current iteration of Eagles receivers isn’t much better than last seasons dreadful edition.Alshon Jeffery
It’s entirely possible that if Alshon Jeffery remains healthy, produces in 2017 and that the Eagles sign him to a long-term contract. It’s possible but based on his history of soft-tissue injuries, not likely. Jeffery remains a sell for me. This trade doesn’t affect the number of targets he’ll see in 2017, nor any other aspect of his outlook. With Jeffery, the only thing that matters is remaining healthy, well and staying off the PEDs.
Whatever issues Agholor had last season had nothing to do with his physical traits. As seen above, Agholor nearest comparable player is Jeremy Maclin. Agholor’s issues resided inside his own head. After dropping several passes at the most inopportune times last year, Agholor expressed self-doubt and sounded lost. Agholor confidence was so shaken last season that he was benched in order to give him a mental break from the grind of being an NFL receiver.
Less than a year later, Agholor showed so much to the coaching staff during the off-season and training camp practices that the team is confident enough to make him their #2 receiver. What happens the next game that Agholor can’t handle a pass over the middle? I don’t want to come off as too harsh but Agholor is mentally weak. How do you recover from that?
Sell Agholor now. Someone is buying.
Though Hollins overall collegiate production was lacking, his Yards Per Catch was an absolutely bananas 22.1 yards. He also did this last night!
— Brick Empire (@BRICKempireYT) August 11, 2017
Hollins is a sleeper stash. All offseason there’s been nothing but positive reports his abilities. He’ll begin the season as the Eagles WR4, behind Jeffery, Agholor and Torrey Smith. Jeffery is on a one year prove it deal, Smith is on a glorified year to year contract. Hollins has a real possibility of opening 2018 as the Eagles WR2.
Nothing to see here for dynasty purposes.
Just in case your league is super deep, I’ll give you a super, super deep sleeper.