Former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews has been working the last couple months on transitioning to tight end in an attempt to resurrect his NFL career.
He’ll get a chance to prove he can do it this weekend.
Matthews, along with several other NFL hopefuls, will be working out at the HUB Camp in San Diego on Sunday at Helix Charter High School in front of professional scouts.
Matthews explained that his position switch is partly a result of the way the NFL has been trending recently.
“I watched this last draft and I see DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Ja’Marr Chase, Kadarius Toney, (Rashod) Bateman, Elijah Moore, none of these guys are taller than 6-1 and they’re all ballers and they’re all going to be looked at as possibly No. 1 on their team,” Matthews said. “So you know where I’m going with this, man, I’m like the game’s changing, it’s shifting away from you having a ton of big receivers. … So I’m watching this and I called my agent and said we might have to make a shift. That’s what I did.”
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Matthews recently attended Tight End University (TEU) with guys like George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and others top tight ends in the NFL.
Matthews, who turns 29 today, has also changed representatives. He’s now repped by agent Steve Caric, who has several big-name tight ends on his roster, including Matthews’ former teammate and friend Zach Ertz.
As you see in that video, Matthews is now tipping the scales at 236 pounds. His listed weight is 215, so he’s added quite a bit of weight for this transition. And as Matthews pointed out, he already did his best work as a receiver in the middle of the field as a slot.
The Eagles’ drafted Matthews in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Vanderbilt and he got off to a very productive start to his NFL career. In his first three seasons, Matthews had 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. But the Eagles traded him to the Bills during training camp in 2017 and Matthews hasn’t been nearly as productive since.
After one season with the Bills, Matthews signed with the Patriots in 2018 but got hurt and was released. He came back to the Eagles that September and played pretty well. In 2019, he went to the 49ers but was released in October, so he joined the Eagles for a third stint.
In 2020, he spent some time on the 49ers’ practice squad and was elevated for a couple games, but is now a free agent.
So should the Eagles bring him back a fourth time? Well, here’s their current roster at the tight end position: Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Richard Rodgers, Caleb Wilson, Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson, Jason Croom, Hakeem Butler.
Even if Ertz is gone by the time the season starts, the Eagles are set with a very solid 1-2 punch of Goedert and Rodgers. There’s a chance they might not even keep a third tight end on the active roster but they have some options and some young players with potential. The fact that the Eagles are in a rebuilding/retooling phase and Matthews is already 29 shouldn’t be overlooked.
But if the Eagles go to this workout and really like the look of Matthews as a tight end, it wouldn’t hurt to bring him in and give him a shot, even if the upside is putting him on the practice squad.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: