According to a report from Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to keep linebacker Casey Matthews on the 53-man roster for yet another year. At least for now. The team has also decided to release third-year linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
Casey Matthews has made the team, sources confirmed to http://t.co/Iu5z0TBqDM. He will be Long's replacement. Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) August 30, 2014
Sounds like 2013 all over again, huh? Many questioned Chip Kelly's decision to keep Matthews over Acho last year, but looking back it seems like Kelly made the right call.
Acho absolutely lit it up in the preseason last year only to be cut. Many were quick to complain about how Kelly chose to keep Casey Matthews (Oregon bias!) instead of Acho. Matthews, who was second in special teams tackles in 2012, went on to finish with another good year in 2013. Matthews finished top three in special teams tackles. Meanwhile, Acho spent a brief stint on the New York Giants practice squad before being signed back by the Eagles. Acho ended up being a gameday inactive until undrafted rookie free agent insider linebacker Jake Knott, a special teams contributor, got hurt. Acho played a mere 23 snaps on defense before being cut again and placed on the Eagles practice squad to finish the 2013 season.
I know Matthews isn't a popular player. In fact, he's pretty much the least popular player on the Eagles roster. But he is what he is: a marginal backup with (theoretical) positional versatility (ILB and OLB) who also contributes on special teams. There's nothing awesome about that and the Eagles could certainly upgrade... but they could also do worse.
With Travis Long out for the season, the Eagles inside linebacker position is coming into focus. DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks project to be the starters while Najee Goode should be the first inside linebacker off the bench. Matthews is the fourth inside linebacker and will play on special teams. That is, if he's even active on game day.
Speaking of game day, I leave you with this completely meaningless yet hilarious stat:
Crazy, but true: the Eagles were 7-3 when Casey Matthews played at least one defensive snap in 2013.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 30, 2014