The700Level

Grading the Eagles' moves: Jordan Matthews traded to Bills

Grading the Eagles' moves: Jordan Matthews traded to Bills

Eagles get: CB Ronald Darby

Bills get: WR Jordan Matthews, 2018 third-round draft pick

There were reports the Eagles would be open to trading Jordan Matthews as far back as February, so it certainly comes as no surprise the club finally pulled the trigger. That being said, I’m not sure anybody could’ve anticipated quite this level of return.

A second-round draft pick from Florida State in 2015, Ronald Darby made 29 starts for the Bills in two NFL seasons. However, after a solid rookie campaign in which he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and Pro Football Focus’ Defensive Rookie of the Year, Darby regressed in 2016, apparently falling out of favor in Buffalo.

Darby went from a 78.3 opponents’ passer rating in coverage – 17th out of 79 qualifying players corners – to a 104.8 in ’16 – 69th out of 79. The Eagles are banking on a resurgence.

Cornerback was clearly the team’s greatest need, and there was a clamoring to do something. Darby is better than most, if not all of the suggested targets.

Darby is listed at 5-foot-11, 193 pounds. He has 137 tackles, 33 pass deflections and 2 interceptions in 29 games.

As for Matthews, there are many who were critical of the fourth-year wideout. He was miscast as a No. 1 receiver, dropped too many passes and was pushing Nelson Agholor down the depth chart. After the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and with Mack Hollins and Marcus Johnson also having strong training camps, the Eagles could afford to part with somebody.

There’s no denying Matthews’ production – 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons – or work ethic. Unfortunately, he was in the final year of his contract, and there was a logjam at the position.

From all of those perspectives, the trade makes sense. The fact that the Eagles had to throw in a third-round pick is where the deal loses some of its luster.

Darby is under contract for two more years, which is perhaps where the Bills get off asking for more out of the swap. Otherwise, they’re comparable talents – both former second-round choices, both stellar production early in their careers, and both coming off of down years. In that sense, you could make the case this should’ve been straight up.

The pick hurts the deal, but doesn’t ruin it. Of course, even a down year for Matthews was 73 receptions, 804 yards and 3 touchdowns, so he’ll likely continue to produce regardless. Whether it will have been worth it or not depends entirely on whether Darby rebounds and becomes a consistent starting cornerback for the Eagles.

If Darby does that, this grade could be substantially better – and nobody will care about that third-round pick.

Grade: B

Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

ap-joel-embiid.jpg

Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

One of the things that I love about Joel Embiid is the fact that it seems like every day we find another reason to love him even more.

Today's entry comes from a profile in GQ magazine in which he talks about plenty of things. But it was one of the first things he was asked about his Twitter account that had me rolling once again.

How do you find out if one of [your tweet] has gone viral, then?

Joel: I think 90 percent of them [will be viral]. That’s the expectation.

Amazing. The thing is, I don't know if he's giving himself enough credit. ONLY 90%????

Oh, and he subscribes to the Jah Rule school of thought: WHO CARES?

"Then I had so much time, too, because I missed that whole year and the second year after, so I didn’t have anything to do," Embiid said. "[I’d] just go on social media and converse with fans, make crazy jokes, and tweet crazy stuff because I don’t care. I say whatever I want to."

His critique of other players' boring Twitter accounts is also incredibly on point:

What do you mean some guys are always tweeting the same thing?

Joel: Bullshit like, “Game Day!” “It’s a great game.” I don’t know. They’re all the same. It’s boring.

Amen.

The whole Q&A is worth any Sixers fan's time just to get to know a little more about Jojo. Be happy he's ours. And pray he stays healthy so he can take his game on the court to the same level as his game off of it.

Eagles-hater Pete Morelli allowed to referee future Birds' games

usa-pete-morelli-nfl.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles-hater Pete Morelli allowed to referee future Birds' games

If you like penalties and hate the Eagles, you clicked on the right story.

Alleged Eagles hater Pete Morelli will be allowed to referee future Birds' games after the league found no signs of bias towards the Eagles. 

How's this for bias? In a Week 6 win over the Panthers, the Eagles were flagged 10 times for 126 yards. Compare that to the Panthers' one penalty for one yard and you see the problem.

But it wasn't the first time Morelli got flag-happy against the Eagles. In Morelli's last 4 Eagles' games — all away from the Linc — his crew has thrown 40 penalties for 396 yards to opponents' eight penalties for 74 yards. I'm not a numbers guy, but something seems off here.

In true Philly sports fashion, the Eagles will now reach the Super Bowl where Morelli and Co. will be waiting to rain yellow on the field, leading to an Andy Reid-led Chiefs' victory where Reid orchestrates an efficient two-minute game-winning drive, perfectly utilizing all three timeouts.