With DeSean Jackson out for the rest of the regular season, Alshon Jeffery struggling, Nelson Agholor invisible, Mack Hollins less than invisible and J.J. Arcega-White even less visible than that, the Eagles are turning to Jordan Matthews.
Matthews, who was in town for a physical on Tuesday, has agreed to contract terms to rejoin the Eagles, a source confirmed. The signing was first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Despite playing only 24 games with Carson Wentz, Matthews is Wentz’s 4th-leading all-time target with 91 catches for 1,091 yards and five touchdowns. Only Zach Ertz (261 catches), Agholor (149) and Jeffery (133) have caught more of Wentz’s passes.
Matthews has been out of the league since the 49ers released him. He has 270 career receptions for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns, most of it with the Eagles from 2014 through 2016.
The Eagles shipped Matthews to Buffalo during the summer of 2017 as part of the deal that brought Ronald Darby to Philadelphia, but he caught only 25 passes for 282 yards and one TD in 10 games before the Bills placed him on Injured Reserve and eventually released him.
From there, he had a brief stint with the Patriots during the 2018 offseason but was released early in training camp.
The Eagles re-signed Matthews on Sept. 19, 2018, and he caught 20 passes for 300 yards and two TDs plus a 37-yard touchdown in the Saints playoff game.
He had two stints with the 49ers this year but played in just one game without any receptions and has been out of football since he was released a second time on Oct. 26.
From 2014 through 2016, Matthews caught 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 TDs. That’s the 13th-most catches ever by a player in his first three seasons. He’s one of only six players in NFL history with at least 65 catches and 800 yards in each of his first three seasons. The others are Michael Thomas, Randy Moss, A.J. Green, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham.
The Eagles’ receiving corps has been a wreck since the opener, when DeSean Jackson had two 50-yard touchdowns in a win over the Redskins.
Alshon Jeffery has struggled badly, Nelson Agholor has been invisible, Mack Hollins doesn’t have a catch since September and JJ Arega-Whiteside can’t get on the field.
Eagles wide receivers don’t have a touchdown reception longer than six yards in the team’s last six games.
Since the NFL’s trade deadline came and went last Tuesday, the Eagles’ only chance to add a player at this time of the year was by signing someone from their practice squad or a player who is out of work.
Matthews ranks 21st in Eagles history with both 245 receptions and also with 2,973 yards. He's 19th with 21 TD catches.
Pederson in a rare admission acknowledged Monday that the current state of the team’s wide receivers made a change almost mandatory.
Asked whether the Eagles would consider a move, he said: “At this point, something we’ll take a look at. We’ve got to take a look at it. It’s real. We’re a little over a game after the halfway point of our season and we have time this week to make this decisions. We’ll take a look at it.”
The Eagles, 5-4, are off this Sunday and return with games against the Patriots and Seahawks.