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Rating the Rumor: Eagles open to dealing Jordan Matthews

Rating the Rumor: Eagles open to dealing Jordan Matthews

While speculation about Jordan Matthews’ future with the Eagles is already in full force, on occasion it’s important to note the language that’s used in a report. Charles Robinson for Yahoo Sports said he believes the club is open to dealing their leading wide receiver IF another team makes a solid offer.

This is not the same as saying the Eagles are actively shopping Matthews, or that the organization is hoping to go in a different direction. It’s simply one reporter’s read of the situation that executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman would not hang up if somebody inquired, which is true of everybody on the roster not named Carson Wentz.

Still, it got people talking because the idea is not without merit. Matthews is entering the final year of his contract, and it’s anticipated the Eagles will add multiple receivers through the 2017 NFL Draft and free agency, which opens on March 9. You can see how his specific set of circumstances might present some challenges.

Matthews’ agent will no doubt begin angling for an extension soon, if he hasn’t already. The money that’s about to be thrown around in free agency will set the stage for a lucrative deal for one of only seven players in NFL history to record at least 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns over his first three seasons. We’re talking a potential for upwards of $10 million annually.

Should the Eagles pay that? Most fans would casually answer, “No,” but that’s the going rate, and for all his flaws, Matthews has produced.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Eagles don’t value Matthews that highly, they add two receivers in the draft – one early and one late – and a veteran wideout in free agency. If that’s the case, he’s almost certainly going to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and walks away.

Assuming that is the most likely scenario, the Eagles absolutely should explore a trade. However, there still isn’t any urgency to do so. When Matthews inevitably leaves for a long-term, big-money contract elsewhere, the club will be compensated with a compensatory draft pick by the league, potentially as a high as a third-round pick.

If a receiver-needy team like the Eagles is willing to part ways with Matthews, what do you suppose he’s worth in a swap? Likely no better than a third would be the guess here. As the reporter said, Roseman needs to be enticed by a solid offer, which is something better than what the NFL will award at a later date.

There’s really no reason for another team to come swooping in with an offer, either. In fact, there’s no reason at all to contact the Eagles about Matthews at the moment, because there are about 100 wide receivers hitting the market in a matter of days, no trade required.

Alshon Jeffery. Brandon Marshall. Terrelle Pryor. DeSean Jackson. Pierre Garcon. Kenny Stills. Kenny Britt. Victor Cruz. In terms of trades, Brandin Cooks is available. What could the Eagles possibly hope to get in return for Matthews when the market is flooded with talent at the position, and all the rest of the league has to do is open the checkbook?

Considering the Eagles aren’t motivated to move Matthews, and the need for his services doesn’t exist at this point in time, it’s sort of a moot point. Maybe once everybody is signed, somehow there will be a roster out there somewhere that didn’t manage to fill a void at receiver, opening up the possibility to explore a trade around the draft.

Even then, Matthews is a better receiver than people often give him credit, and it’s uncertain the Eagles would be in a rush to part ways. After all, this team has a desperate need at receiver, so why trade the only sure thing they have?

Rating the Rumor: Unconvincing, but check back in April

Sixers pick up first boring win of the season against Jazz

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Sixers pick up first boring win of the season against Jazz

There was a time as Sixers fans when being 16 games into the season meant it legitimately felt like there was no chance the team would ever win another game of basketball. Now, we're beating teams at home by a lot because we're better than them, moving to multiple games over .500, and -- as of last night -- even breaking even with our overall scoring differential. Yawn. 

The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Utah Jazz last night by a score of 107-86. Joel Embiid had something of an off night (15 points on 7-16 shooting), our shooters couldn't quite get it going (4-15 from deep), but we still won by 21. It wasn't quite a blowout, but it definitely wasn't a nail-biter. It wasn't an upset or a moral loss or a validating triumph. It wasn't anything, really, except a win. 

In it's own way, of course, that makes it the most meaningful W of the season for Philly. It has been a very long time -- maybe since the Doug Collins era -- since the Sixers won a game without it being a referendum on either team. The Sixers simply won because they're a better team with more good players -- especially with the Jazz missing a couple key dudes, though we also beat them in Utah a couple weeks ago without Joel Embiid, so whatever. And the Jazz aren't even the worst team in the league, or really even one of them -- they're just a not-totally-terrible team that the Sixers are still decisively superior to. 

Long have I dreamed of wins like this, to have a game where there was nothing to say in the recap except how there's nothing really to say in the recap. Next time the Sixers pick up another W this casual -- and it probably won't take all that long, either -- I won't even be able to write this column again. I'll probably have to try writing in haiku or cryptogram or something to attempt to make the story interesting. 

And that's fine: After four years of historic losing, we'll trade narratives for Ws any time. You keep it real boring, Sixers.

Joel Embiid swatted Donovan Mitchell, drew a tech, and ignited a Philly explosion

Joel Embiid swatted Donovan Mitchell, drew a tech, and ignited a Philly explosion

We didn't even know if Joel Embiid was going to play just hours before tonight's contest as he was listed as a game-time decision with knee soreness.

Play he did. And he treated the Wells Fargo Center crowd to one of the more energetic moments of the evening. 

The Sixers beat the Jazz in South Philly on Monday night, 107-86, to bounce back from that tough loss on Saturday (see observations).

Embiid was a big part of that. He finished with 15 points, 11 boards, three assists and a couple of blocks.

It was one block on Donovan Mitchell in particular that had The Center going bonkers.

Watch:

The block, the stare down, the technical foul signal, the crowd pumping ... Embiid provided a perfect moment.

"It was some good theater and the two embraced afterwards. It was fun to watch," Marc Zumoff said after the game.

Mitchell wrote it off as a rookie mistake.

"Just gotta keep my head," Mitchell said. "It's a learning experience, especially in that situation when we're making a comeback."

Whether they were making a comeback or not is debatable. 

"I shouldn't have done it. I should have just let it go."

Brett Brown was OK with the play.

"I'm always mindful of how do we stay disciplined," Brown said. "Jo understands it's risky if you taunt. I want my guys playing with an edge. I want them to feel some level of swagger and feel good about themselves. That was a big play. It certainly got the crowd involved."

As for his part in the incident, Embiid admitted he may have embellished just a bit. The big guy is not that easy to move.

"I flopped and he got a technical for it," Embiid said. "That's basically how it happened. It's all fun. After the game, we shook hands."