Eagles management would be better off individually eating live bees than they would be trading Jordan Matthews.
That is not an exaggeration; it is a literal blanket statement. Howie Roseman, if you're reading this, please, I beg of you, if you're even thinking of offering up JMatt in a trade, quickly remove yourself from your office, go to the nearest bee hive, and proceed to eat the bees one by one. That way, when you feel the bees stinging you both on the inside and out, you can feel comfort in knowing you didn't trade away the Eagles only competent wide receiver.
The case has been made this week, inexplicably, that the Eagles should consider trading Jordan Matthews, the former second round pick and only offensive weapon not named Zach Ertz that Carson Wentz currently has at his disposal. The argument goes like this: Matthews isn't a jaw-dropping star, he's an upcoming free agent, he wasn't taken by this current regime, and they're likely to add wide receivers this offseason, therefore the Iggles would be smart to move him.
I honestly can't think of a more ridiculous line of thinking, and I grew up at a time when people were spray-painting hair onto their domes.
First, what would be the point? Like, best case scenario, how do the Eagles win this trade? Well, for starters, they'd have to get fair compensation, and considering JMatt was a second round pick, it seems unlikely you'd get anything higher than a third. Then, you need to count on Howie Roseman (he of Marcus Smith fame) to get that third round pick right. Then, on top of all that, you'll need to replace Matthews production, presumably with a free agent wide receiver you’d need to pay MORE than you're currently paying JMatt.
Don't you see?? THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE WAY FOR THE EAGLES TO WIN A TRADE WHERE JORDAN MATTHEWS IS SENT PACKING. Maybe if the day after the trade, Matthews opts to retire and pursue a career as a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, THEN someone could argue Howie pulled a fast one. Otherwise, the odds of the Iggles winning a JMatt trade are about as likely as Joel Embiid playing an 82-game-season.
Yeah, okay, that last one was uncalled for. Apologies.
But for anyone out there arguing that Matthews doesn’t make enough "big plays," please realize that not every player on the team needs to be DeSean Jackson. If you're arguing the Birds should trade Matthews because he's not a NUMBER ONE WIDE RECEIVER, I'd like to gently remind you that teams use two, sometimes three, and even (gasp!) four wide receivers on the field at once. This isn't a back-up quarterback we're talking about here; it's a guy who’s gonna play a lot of football.
And play a lot of GOOD football. With a full offseason training with Carson Wentz, and presumably a better wide receiver than Nelson "OH GAWD I DROPPED ANOTHER ONE!!" Agholor to partner with, Matthews is likely in for his best statistical season ever.
"Well if he's really good this season, he'll leave in free agency next year." SO WHAT!? That be GREAT!! You're telling me that a year from now, the Birds could have a wideout other franchises actually covet?!? How is that not a good thing?
Well, Matthews was a Chip Kelly guy. THAT IS NOT AN ARGUMENT FOR TRADING SOMEONE AWAY. If JMatt was struggling to make the roster and was hanging at the bottom of the depth chart, then sure, being a pick of the Chippah might be a strike against him. But this is the Birds best wide receiver for the past three seasons, and it’s not even close. Ditching him would create a hole that would not be easy (or cheap) to fix.
Listen, I don't need 538 to tell me the Eagles aren't likely to win the Super Bowl this season. But to suggest they're somehow better off by trading a homegrown stud wide receiver who works hard and loves football is an argument not based in logic. Quite bluntly, trading JMatt will make this team worse.
The whole hypothetical reminds me, oddly enough, of when the Iggles signed Nnamdi Asomugha. Try to follow me here, as I’ve inhaled a lot of Windex since then for the sole purpose of wiping Vince Young's Dream Team out of my memory. But the Birds traded for cornerback Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie AND signed Asomugha that lockout-shortened offseason, despite having stud cornerback Asante Samuel on the squad (who they planned on trading, which they eventually did).
Meanwhile, the roster had an embarrassing number of weak-links, from the O-line (rookie Danny Watkins started) to safety (rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett started) to middle linebacker (rookies Casey Matthews and Brian Rolle both started) to kicker (Alex Henery, who I still hate).
Why is this all familiar? Because instead of focusing on the holes in the roster, the Birds putzed around and tried to upgrade in places they were already set. Just like they’d be putzing around now by trading their best wide receiver and then having to waste time and resources trying to replace him.
Oh, and who was the GM of the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles?
Howie "I should know better" Roseman.
Building a football team is about filling holes. The Eagles are a bad team in need of building. Trading away Jordan Matthews, a proven high-quality football player, does not help this team build upward.
If Howie and the Birds brain trust thinks otherwise, they'd be better off dining at a beehive.