Eagles

With no need to acclimate, Jordan Matthews ready to produce immediately for Eagles

With no need to acclimate, Jordan Matthews ready to produce immediately for Eagles

Jordan Matthews knows the quarterback. He knows the coach. He knows the offense. He knows the building. He knows the city. 

The only difference is that Matthews has a new locker this time. He was happy to get a stall next to his good friend Zach Ertz. 

After officially signing with the Eagles again on Monday morning, the 27-year-old receiver is now in his third stint with the team that drafted him in the second round out of Vanderbilt back in 2014. 

“There’s not much of that process of acclimating,” Matthews said on Monday afternoon. “Every other place that I’ve gone, it feels like there’s a good two to three weeks where you don’t even know where the bathroom is. 

“But I was able to come back here and it’s just like back at home. See everybody, ‘what’s up?’ ‘What’s up?’ Back to work.”

That’s good news for the Eagles because they certainly don’t have time to wait for Matthews to get acclimated. 

They need him to produce. 

And they need him to produce immediately. 

“The guy has made a lot of plays for the Eagles over the years,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “He has excellent football intelligence. He knows our system. He has familiarity there. I think there's great comfort with him in the huddle. There's rapport and chemistry with he and Carson (Wentz), which is important, so certainly nice to get him back.”

On the 53-man roster, Matthews replaced DeSean Jackson, who had one monster game before an abdominal injury derailed his Eagles reunion. Jackson is now on Injured Reserve after having core muscle surgery. 

Of course, no one is expecting Matthews to come in and all of a sudden replace the best deep threat in the NFL. That’s not realistic. That’s not his game. But Matthews has been a productive receiver in the NFL before and he’s been a productive receiver in Philadelphia. The Eagles are just hoping he can give a small boost to a position group that has struggled mightily in 2019 without Jackson. 

Step in and produce? 

Matthews says that’s no problem. 

“I feel like it’s been that way every single time,” he said. “I feel like when I got drafted here, that was one thing I heard: that we need production from the receiver position. Came in, worked hard and played. And then even last year, I was here a year ago at this time. … That was the same thing. It was like, ‘we need you to come in and immediately produce’ and that’s just what I do. When opportunities are there, I just try to work hard and make plays. The moment’s not too big for me. I just go out and play.”

In 14 games (three starts) with the Eagles last season, Matthews caught 20 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 37-yard touchdown in the Saints playoff game. 

But after the playoff loss, Matthews signed with the 49ers, who cut him, brought him back and cut him again in late October. Aside from the Eagles, Matthews has now spent time with the Bills, Patriots and 49ers, but he feels like Philly is his NFL home. He was thrilled when the Eagles brought him back again. 

“It was so crazy. I felt like it was kind of unprecedented,” he said. “I heard of guys going back to a team that drafted them once. But twice? It was just crazy. I was just texting all the guys, like, ‘guys, it’s happening!’ It was like a kid in a candy store, man. It was like getting drafted all over again. I was just so happy. I can’t even explain. Picked up my son, ran around like he was Simba. It was a good feeling, man.”

Groh said the Eagles will probably use Matthews as an outside and a slot receiver. It would certainly make sense for Matthews to take some playing time away from Mack Hollins, who has gone five straight games without a catch. 

Even if Matthews can just give the Eagles a slight boost, bringing him back will be worth it. And maybe everyone else will be as happy about the move as he was. 



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DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

It’s nice to see that some of that $9 million the Eagles paid DeMarco Murray is going to good use.

Murray, a free agent disaster after the Eagles signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract in March 2015, emerged Monday as part of a consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez that is trying to buy the Mets, according to the New York Post.

That’s not the only Philly connection to the impending Mets sale. Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the 76ers and Devils, have also bid about $1.7 billion for the ballclub, according to the Post.

Which raises the bizarre possibility that a group led by the owner of the 76ers could wind up bidding a group including a former Eagles running back for ownership of one of the Phillies’ biggest rivals.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, younger brother of Jason; former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher; and long-time Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas are also among the so-called J-Rod investment group trying to buy the team from the Wilpon family.

Murray earned just over $9 million for his one year with the Eagles — $1 million in base salary, a $5 million signing bonus and a $3 million roster bonus, along with $16,609 in various incentives.

According to Spotrac, Murray earned a total of $25,715,703 in his seven-year career with the Cowboys, Eagles and Titans that ended in 2017, with only $3.6 million of that coming from the Cowboys and more than $13 million from two years with the Titans.

Thomas earned $122.85 million in his 11-year career that ended in 2017, Urlacher earned $80.18 million in 12 seasons before retiring in 2012 and Kelce has already earned $40.11 million in four seasons.

After leading the NFL in rushing and making first-team all-pro in 2014, Murray had a miserable season in Philadelphia, averaging 3.6 yards per carry and rushing for only 702 yards — more than 1,100 fewer than the year before.

He had one carry longer than 30 yards all year, and that was a 54-yarder against the Giants on the final day of the season after Chip Kelly had been fired and replaced by interim coach Pat Shurmur.

Soon after being restored to general manager, Howie Roseman traded Murray and a 4th-round pick to the Titans for a higher 4th-round pick that wound up going to the Browns as part of the deal that gave the Eagles the second pick in the 2016 draft.

Murray spent 2019 as running backs coach at Arizona and was hired in January as running backs coach at Oklahoma, his alma mater.

The Wilpon family has been losing somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million per year. The Mets have only had three winning seasons since 2009 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2015.

FoxBusiness’s Charles Gasparino reported that the top bid of $2 billion came from investor Steve Cohen.

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NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents carry a sneaky amount of power across the league, but they often choose to avoid talking publicly about their day-to-day work.

So when The Athletic polled 30 agents from across the league this week on a whole host of topics, from COVID-19 to Cam Newton, I tuned in - and one question in particular caught my eyes:

"14. Among general managers or front-office leaders, who is the smartest?"

General managers juggle plenty of things throughout the year, one being a spiderweb of relationships with a number of player agents. (A failure to get on the same page with agents was one of the main critiques of former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie!) So if agents think highly of a certain guy, it's obviously a good sign for the whole organization.

So the answers should have Eagles fans feeling pretty good.

Howie Roseman finished in the No. 1 spot, receiving five votes. He landed one vote ahead of New England's Bill Belichick, and two votes ahead of Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

Here are a couple specific quotes about Roseman's acumen, from the agents themselves:

"He knows how to put teams together. And he's working with a limited amount in terms of the cap. He knows how to maneuver and get players that he feels like will fit the scheme even if he doesn’t have to pay them top dollar. He's very smart in terms of chess moves. I'm not a huge fan. I will say that, as well. But he knows what he's doing in terms of putting things together."

"If I was gonna go into the lab and build a GM, it's a guy that can deal with the media, a guy that knows personnel and a guy that knows money. Those are the three things. Howie Roseman is a guy who I think is very good with the media from what I can tell. I know that he knows the money game very well. And I've known him for 15-18 years and he's worked incredibly hard to learn football and how to evaluate to the point now where he's really good. I give him a lot of credit that he can handle all three parts of the job."

That's the kind of evaluation you pin to the fridge. Good stuff.

This echoes what we heard earlier this year from Browns general manager Andrew Berry, a former Eagles front office member, who had nothing but amazing things to say about Roseman:

"With Howie, I've said it before: I think he's the best general manager, currently, in the sport. Very well-rounded skillset. I've taken a lot from in him, in terms of my approach to free agency, trades, general aggression with roster building, contract management, and then just overall people management and philosophy."

Roseman brought Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, kept Carson Wentz around on a team-friendly deal, and generally keeps the Eagles in good standing with the salary cap.

Keep doing what you do, Howie.

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