Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Philadelphia Eagles trade WR Jordan Matthews and draft pick for Bills cornerback

Philadelphia Eagles trade WR Jordan Matthews and draft pick for Bills cornerback

Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman ended up paying a significant price to acquire some much-needed help, sending wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round draft pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby.

The trade effectively opens up two wide receiver spots for these young players to compete for.

About the same time the Bills were trading away their No. 4 overall pick from 2013 (Sammy Watkins), they were also working on replacing him. "It wasn't that he wasn't in the long term plans for us.we were not shopping Jordan Matthews", said Roseman. But the Eagles signed free-agent receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in the offseason, drafted Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson and have been pleased with 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor's improvement. Jalen Mills looks set to start on one side, but Patrick Robinson has struggled on the other side in training camp.

"We're seeing those guys on the field", said Roseman.

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Taking a look at the targets Matthews has seen while outside the slot over his three years in the league hasn't been ideal.

Darby, the Bills' second-round draft pick in 2015, appeared in 29 games for Buffalo over the last two seasons. When the trade happened, they had to throw in the third-rounder, because as Roseman noted, it's "a corner-deficient league", and prying away a starting-quality corner from anyone in August is a hard feat. That's not going to get it done as a WR2/WR3 as Matthews has been in two of his three seasons. His quarterback, Carson Wentz, was one of the first to post a message about his now-former teammate on social media. "(Matthews) you'll always be my boy both on & off the field. Then, last week, offensive coordinator Frank Reich talked about Matthews sharing the slot position with Agholor and perhaps rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey, as the coaching staff pursued matchups. Darby has been in the league for two years and has been very productive in that span. Enter, Ronald Darby. Philly had a lot of questions at corner.

"Our priority was sorting out the cornerback position", Roseman said. However good he is as a player, he's a better person.

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