Eagles

Eagles bring back Jordan Matthews to help struggling wide receiver group

Eagles bring back Jordan Matthews to help struggling wide receiver group

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.

Again.

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.

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Stephen Jackson says the Eagles 'threatened to fire' DeSean Jackson after Instagram posts

Stephen Jackson says the Eagles 'threatened to fire' DeSean Jackson after Instagram posts

After DeSean Jackson made anti-Semitic Instagram posts quoting Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan, the Eagles released a statement calling the wide receiver's posts 'absolutely appalling' and promising 'approporiate action'.

Whether the posts will ultimately cost Jackson his job with the Eagles is unclear, but according to former NBA player Stephen Jackson, it may have been presented as a possibility.

In one of many statements Wednesday defending the 33-year-old wide receiver, Stephen Jackson claimed that DeSean Jackson called him and said the Eagles threatened to cut him:

I didn't support the post, as far as Hitler and him supporting Hitler. I don't know support Hitler, I don't know nothing about Hitler, and I could give a f**k about Hitler. All I know is he was a cruel guy. I don't stand for that, and I don't support it. My whole reason for supporting D-Jack was, before I got on Instagram, he called me on the phone and told me that they was threatening to fire him, but they didn't do that to [Riley] Cooper. And I was like, 'You're right, you shouldn't have to apologize if they didn't make him apologize.

The Eagles did in fact punish wide receiver Riley Cooper in 2013 after he was filmed shouting the n-word at a country music concert, fining him an undisclosed amount of money. The team also condemned Cooper's comments in a public statement, as they did with DeSean Jackson's comments.

Cooper was not released for his comments, however, and was signed to a five-year extension in 2014. Cooper was released in 2016.

You can watch the full Stephen Jackson video below:

Stephen Jackson also said in a different post, which has since been deleted, that DeSean Jackson was "speaking the truth" in the posts.

In one of the original Instagram posts, DeSean Jackson highlighted a quote, which was incorrectly attributed to Hitler:

The white Jews knows that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will blackmail America. They will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were. The white citizens of America will be terrified to know that all this time they’ve been mistreating and discriminating and lynching the Children of Israel.

DeSean Jackson also posted a clip from a speech Farrakhan made in Chicago on July 4 where he alleged that White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were plotting to use a virus vaccine to "depopulate the Earth." 

Farrakhan is a noted anti-Semite and homophobe who was among several prominent people whose posts were banned 

DeSean Jackson apologized publicly multiple times on Tuesday for his posts and comments, and also reportedly spoke with and apologized to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, both of whom are Jewish.

The Eagles signed DeSean Jackson to a three-year, $27 million deal in March 2019.

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The Eagles all-time team: Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Tommy McDonald make the cut

The Eagles all-time team: Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Tommy McDonald make the cut

Over the next few weeks, we'll be unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern for voting. 

We asked each person to rank their top five players at 16 different positions. A 1st-place vote was worth five points, a 2nd-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Up next: Wide Receiver

Complete voting

1. Harold Carmichael = 23
2. Mike Quick = 16
3. Tommy McDonald = 15
4. DeSean Jackson = 13
5. Terrell Owens = 8 

The breakdown
New Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael got three 1st-place votes and Mike Quick and Tommy McDonald each got one. Harold was 2nd on the two ballots where he wasn’t first, and Quick got a 2nd-place vote, a 3rd-place vote and two 4th-place votes in addition to the one 1st-place vote. McDonald got the other 1st-place vote along with two 3rd-place votes and two 4th-place. DeSean Jackson got a 2nd, two 3rds and two 4ths. T.O. was as high as 2nd on one ballot and 4th on all four others. Interesting that the same five WRs were listed on all five ballots.

Did we get it right?
It’s tough comparing eras, but McDonald was the best in the business in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Carmichael was the best in the league from the early 1970s through the early 1980s and Quick was as good as anybody in the NFL from 1983 through 1987. So it really comes down to who did it the longest and most consistently, and that's Carmichael. From 1973 through 1983 — a span of 11 years — nobody had as many receiving yards or touchdowns. There’s a good reason he’s going into the Hall of Fame next summer. On our team, we’re coming out in a three-receiver set, and Carmichael, Quick and McDonald are clearly the top three in franchise history.
 
Complete team so far:
QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy
WR: Harold Carmichael
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald

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