Eagles

Eagles may be turning to Jordan Matthews for the 3rd time

Eagles may be turning to Jordan Matthews for the 3rd time

With the Eagles’ wide receiving corps in shambles, Jordan Matthews is back in town to take a physical, a source confirmed Tuesday.

PhillyVoice's Jimmy Kempski first reported the news, which comes one day after Doug Pederson conceded the Eagles would have to consider signing somebody. The 27-year-old Matthews, the Eagles' second-round pick in 2014, was the most obvious candidate.

The Eagles on Tuesday waived safety Andrew Sendejo, which would free up a roster spot for Matthews.

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.

Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

9:57 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! 

We have waited a long time for tonight, but the Eagles will host Eli Manning and the Giants tonight at the Linc. Here are five matchups to watch.

If you’re heading to the game, bring your rain gear. 

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Plenty of very good quarterbacks began their careers like Carson Wentz

Plenty of very good quarterbacks began their careers like Carson Wentz

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has taken a step back in 2019. There are valid explanations for his performance, but that much is indisputable. 

On the bright side, Wentz’s down year isn’t necessarily indicative of long-term regression. There are plenty of examples of good and great NFL quarterbacks — Super Bowl champion quarterbacks — who followed breakout seasons with a less than stellar campaign. 

Quarterbacks like Russell Wilson. Ben Roethlisberger. Matt Stafford. Dak Prescott. Nick Foles. 

To name a few. In fact, closely examining the career of most any signal caller — yes, even the GOAT, Tom Brady — reveals development is rarely a straight arrow pointing directly north. 

Young quarterbacks struggle, sometimes after it looked like they had the game figured out. Maybe it’s due to the lack of strong supporting cast, or an injury, or coaching changes. Maybe the league honed in on certain tendencies and continued evolution is required. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the case, none of this is uncommon. 

And make no mistake, Wentz is a young quarterback. He’s in his fourth season with just over 50 starts under his belt. By comparison, Wilson is in his eighth year with more than double the number of starts. Brady is in his 20th season with five times as many starts. 

Granted, just because Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacks rebounded from a subpar season doesn’t guarantee Wentz will do the same. But as long as you’re not of the belief that 2017 Wentz was a total aberration, looking at his peers’ career trajectories might put your mind at ease. 

(Regarding Wentz’s 2018 season, though it’s not remembered fondly, the numbers actually showed improvement in some key metrics — specifically completion percentage and yards per attempt — while he was recovering from a torn ACL and playing with a broken back. It was certainly far better than the year he’s having now.) 

Take Wilson for example. Early on, the Seahawk posted modest numbers in a run-first offense. Then in 2015, his fourth year, his completion percentage shot to 68.1 and he eclipsed 4,000 yards passing for the first time with 34 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. 

The following season, 2016, Wilson’s completion percentage dipped more than three points and his yards per attempt by over a half-yard while throwing 21 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. His 92.6 passer rating was a career-worst, though Seattle still managed to win 10 games. 

Again, you will find these statistical drop-offs with just about anybody. 

In 2007, Roethlisberger’s fourth season, the Steeler completed 65.3 percent for 7.8 yards per attempt with 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions. In 2008, Big Ben hit 59.9 percent and 7.0 yards per attempt — career lows — with 17 touchdowns, 15 picks. 

In 2011, Stafford’s third season, the Lion completed 63.5 percent with a 7.6 average and 41 touchdowns, winning 10 games in the process. In 2012, Stafford went 4-12 while completing 59.8 percent for 6.8 a pop with 20 scores. 

As a rookie in 2016, Prescott completed 67.8 percent for 8.0 yards per attempt with only 4 interceptions, not to mention he won 13 games. In ’17, the Cowboy was 62.9 percent, a 6.8 average, 13 interceptions and 9-7. 

Yes, you can do this with Brady — to an extent. His fifth season as starter, the Patriot completed 63.0 percent with a 7.8 average. A year later, he was 61.8 percent, 6.8 yards — lows he would only approach one other time prior to this season at age 42. 

And let’s not forget how so many Eagles fans insisted on running Foles out of town after his 2014 campaign didn’t come close to living up to his famed 27-2 touchdown-interception ratio a year earlier. We know how that played out. 

Look at any NFL quarterback. Past. Present. Hall of Famer. Decent starter. 

There are ups. There are downs. The inconsistencies are present early in careers especially. 

Will Wentz recover to a level that matches the contract extension he signed with the Eagles? Will he live up to fans’ expectations? Maybe not. Nobody knows. 

Whatever you thought of Wentz though, his performance this season alone shouldn’t rattle your confidence. Not seeing who he’s had to throw the ball to. Not with a defense that cost the Eagles some games. Not with a coaching staff likely headed for shake-up in the offseason. 

Nothing about Wentz’s future is certain. His 2019 season doesn’t need to define him, either.

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