I know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, another article where BLG is making something out of nothing about Jordan Matthews.”
But I couldn’t help but share this paragraph I read in a recent Les Bowen column about the Eagles’ slot receiver. Bold emphasis is mine.
There is talk around the locker room that Matthews’ issue is more serious than tendinitis. But there is talk elsewhere in the building that Matthews could have practiced more in the spring, that the real issue is his contract. This will be the final year of the rookie deal Matthews signed after being drafted in the second round in 2014. He will make $1,094,000, according to Spotrac.com. There has been no indication that the team, tight against the projected 2018 cap, has done anything toward extending Matthews.
This isn’t necessarily a hard report from Les, but that sure doesn’t seem like “nothing” to me.
Assuming one of those two things is true, either:
1 - Matthews’ injury is more serious than we know. That’s concerning. It doesn’t seem so far-fetched, either, considering how Matthews has been suffering from this issue for a year now and is still expected to be limited in practice when he finally does participate. Not having Matthews healthy hurts Philadelphia’s wide receiver depth. It also prohibits their ability to trade him, which could explain the delay in why that hasn’t happened yet.
2 - Matthews is actually not injured and he’s trying to not practice too much because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his impending free agency by getting (even more) hurt before he gets paid. It seems very unlikely Matthews would want to miss practice given his hard-working nature. But the fact that he’s a free agent after this season isn’t totally insignificant.
I’m not going to pretend like I know what’s going on here. The only thing I do know is that this situation doesn’t feel normal. It was just yesterday when Doug Pederson said there is “nothing” wrong despite the fact he also said he will limit Matthews in practice.
Here’s hoping there’s some more clarity about this Matthews situation soon. Because right now it’s kind of weird.
[Related reading: The problem with using stats to defend Jordan Matthews]