Jordan Matthews isn’t a big name, and he’s never been to a Pro Bowl, and he’s been cast off by three teams in the last 14 months, and honestly he was probably just about dead last on most Eagles fans’ wish list when it came to finding wide receiver help (see story).
He’s not the fastest guy. He’s not the most exciting guy. He’s never been on a reality show or done sit-ups in his driveway or been suspended for a positive drug test.
He’s slow and boring.
For this Eagles team right now? He makes the most sense.
When you’re looking for a wide receiver who can come in and contribute immediately – and we can all agree the Eagles desperately need that – it doesn’t matter how many Pro Bowls a guy has been to or how big a name that guy is or how many Instagram followers he has.
You need someone who knows the playbook, who fits into a team’s culture, who has a history with the coaches and understands what they’re looking for, who has the QB’s trust.
Matthews has all of that, and now he’s apparently healthy enough to play.
And there’s no reason to doubt that he can go out as early as Sunday against the Colts and catch the football.
Of all the available options — and there weren't very many — he made the most sense.
Matthews is one of those guys a good portion of Eagles fans inexplicably have never liked.
I never got that.
He’s not a superstar and never will be. He doesn’t run a 4.2. But if there’s anything we learned from 2017 it’s that you don’t need a bunch of superstars to win a championship.
From 2014 through 2016, his three years here, Matthews averaged 75 catches, 891 yards and 6 ½ touchdowns. Only 11 other wide receivers matched that during that stretch.
You can’t argue with that sort of consistency.
Here’s a list of players with the most receptions in their first three NFL seasons:
288 … Odell Beckham Jr.
288 … Jarvis Landry
260 … A.J. Green
259 … Anquan Boldin
239 … DeAndre Hopkins
238 … Mike Evans
238 … LaDainian Tomlinson
230 … Larry Fitzgerald
226 … Brandon Marshall
226 … Randy Moss
225 … Jordan Matthews
224 … Isaac Bruce
224 … Michael Thomas
218 … Percy Harvin
216 … Keyshawn Johnson
There’s a reason quarterbacks love him. He’s solid, unselfish, smart, productive.
He’s not DeSean Jackson and never will be. He’s a different kind of player. A pure slot, a possession guy, a productive player who’s still only 26.
It made sense to trade him to the Bills last year in the Ronald Darby deal, and it makes just as much sense to bring him back.
He’ll help. He won’t show up on a bunch of highlight reels, but he’ll catch passes, which is exactly what this team needs.
I remember talking to Carson Wentz on the grass fields at training camp the morning after Matthews was traded. Wentz completed 73 passes for 804 yards and three TDs to Matthews as a rookie, and he was devastated at losing his favorite receiver:
"It's tough. You have to trust what they are doing upstairs. On the personal side, it's tough. It's someone that was one of my best friends. I spoke with Howie. He obviously knew how I felt with Jordan being one of my best friends. He knew that, he was prepared for that and I told him that."
Now he has him back, and anything that makes Carson happy should make Eagles fans happy.
The Eagles might not be a flashier team than they were yesterday.
But there’s no question they’re a better team.