Eagles

Report: Former Eagles WR Jordan Matthews signs with 49ers

Report: Former Eagles WR Jordan Matthews signs with 49ers

Free agent receiver Jordan Matthews, who rejoined the Eagles early last season after disappointing stints with the Bills and Patriots, has agreed to contract terms with the 49ers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Any chance Matthews had to return to Philly ended when the Eagles acquired DeSean Jackson to join Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery. 

In San Francisco, Matthews becomes the oldest and by far most experienced wide receiver on the roster, although the 49ers do have some promising young wide outs to go with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. 

The 49ers’ top receiver is Marquise Goodwin, who had nearly 1,000 yards in 2017 before dropping off last year to less than 400 in 11 games. 

Dante Pettis caught 27 passes for 457 yards as a rookie last year, Trent Taylor has 69 receptions over the last two seasons, Kendrick Bourne had nearly 500 yards last year as a second-year player and Richie James is mainly a returner.

Steven Dunbar, who played one game last year as a rookie, and Jordan Smallwood are also on the roster.

Matthews’ career with the Eagles got off to a good start, with 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three seasons. Only seven other players in NFL history have matched those numbers in their first three seasons — Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss.

He went to Buffalo in the trade that brought Ronald Darby to the Eagles but was never healthy and only caught 25 passes in 10 games. The Patriots brought him in last summer, but he got hurt again and never suited up for them.

He rejoined the Eagles in late September and played well as a reserve wide out, catching 20 passes (on just 28 targets) for 300 yards and two touchdowns, plus a 37-yard TD in the postseason loss to the Saints.

Terms of the deal were unavailable, but Matthews is only 26 years old and has produced when he’s been healthy and been a starter.

Matthews’ mother is Jerry Rice’s cousin, so San Francisco is a fitting place for Matthews.

So far, the Eagles have cut ties with Matthews, Nick Foles, Jordan Hicks and Golden Tate, who left as free agents; Michael Bennett, who they traded to the Patriots; and Steven Wisniewski, whose option wasn't exercised.

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Eagle Eye podcast: A wild win in Washington

Eagle Eye podcast: A wild win in Washington

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro break down the Eagles’ wild win over the Redskins. 

Looking at the playoff picture. Carson Wentz’s good and bad plays. Miles Sanders is a stud. All the young guys are balling. 

• Big picture 
• Carson Wentz good and bad 
• Miles Sanders carries the load
• Greg Ward comes through late 
• Boston Scott has earned his role 
• All the young guys are earning it  
• The defense is a problem 
• Looking ahead to the Dallas matchup 

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Greg Ward plays hero with same mindset that got him here

Greg Ward plays hero with same mindset that got him here

LANDOVER, Md. — As the game-winning touchdown pass off Carson Wentz’s hand floated toward the back of the end zone, Greg Ward Jr. was thinking one thing. 

It’s pretty much the same thing he’s been thinking about for the last few years. 

“It’s mine regardless,” Ward said. “That was my whole mindset.”

There was no doubt in Ward’s mind that he was going to make that game-winning catch, just like there was no doubt he was going to be successful in the NFL. 

No matter how long it took. 

There really is something about the power of positivity. 

On Sunday, the 24-year-old Ward soared high to catch the pass over former Pro Bowler Josh Norman in the back of the end zone. It gave the Eagles a lead with just 32 seconds remaining in their 37-27 win over the Redskins at FedEx Field. 

On Sunday night, Ward was asked if he could have imagined making a catch like that when he was playing for the San Antonio Commanders of the short-lived Alliance of American Football. 

Of course he could. 

“You always think about big catches like that,” Ward said. “It is truly a blessing to be in that position and in that environment. I am truly blessed.”

It wasn’t just the game-winning catch either. In fact, on the game-winning drive, he ended up with four catches for 40 yards. And five of his seven catches on Sunday came in the fourth quarter. 

The former University of Houston quarterback, who was most recently called back up from the practice squad on Nov. 23, is pretty clutch. 

In a wild season, Ward’s journey has become one of the best stories of the year. Last week, Boston Scott credited Ward’s positive attitude for some of his success. Scott said the two have become close friends over the last couple of years and travel to the team facility together. That constant positivity rubbed off on Scott. 

Last week was the Boston Scott game. This week, Ward became the hero. 

“You couldn’t write a better story, man,” said Scott, who got a little emotional. “And to see story after story develop like that, it’s just insane man. God is just so good, man. I love seeing my boys eat. I love seeing my guys eat.”

Ward went undrafted out of Houston in 2017. The 5-11 college quarterback had the athleticism to make it in the NFL but had to learn the position. Now, that background as a quarterback might be helping him succeed. Even Jason Kelce said his background as a linebacker helps him play center; so there really is something to this. 

“I think he’s able to see the field very similar to Carson because he played quarterback,” Brandon Brooks said. “He’s been doing it in practice all year, so I don’t think anybody’s shocked or surprised. I’m just happy that everybody else is seeing it now and he’s getting the recognition he deserves. I’m happy for him.”

In the last three years, Ward has been waived from the roster or cut from the practice squad a total of six times. His transaction history with the Eagles reads like a CVS receipt. 

But he never gave up. 

And his first NFL touchdown was a game-winner with 32 seconds remaining in a very important game. The football will be an early Christmas present for his mom. 

“It just feels great, man,” he said. “It’s a blessing, man. Been through a lot. I’m here now, so that’s all I’m worried about.”

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