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Eagles trade Jordan Matthews and draft pick for Ronald Darby: Grade the deal

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Do you approve of the move?

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles took the league by surprise today by trading Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round draft pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby (more details here).

Now that there’s been time to react to the big deal, it’s time to put it to a vote: do you approve of the trade? Here’s a look at some of the positives and negatives.


  • The Eagles badly need cornerback help and now they have a new 23-year-old starter
  • Darby is a proven player: he has two interceptions and 33 passes defensed in 29 starts over the past two seasons
  • We won’t have to see Patrick Robinson get burned all season long
  • The Eagles are hedging their bet at corner by bringing in Darby along with drafting Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas (and Jalen Mills is still around as well)
  • The Eagles likely weren’t going to keep Jordan Matthews around after this year anyway so that got value for him while they could
  • Moving JMatt opens up playing time for their young receivers such as Mack Hollins
  • The Eagles already had a ton of slot options: Alshon Jeffery (occasionally), Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Donnel Pumphrey, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Greg Ward, etc.
  • The Eagles likely won’t risk losing Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan, Nigel Bradham, etc. by overpaying Matthews after this season


  • Despite inflated numbers, Jordan Matthews was still a productive player and seemed to have a good connection with Carson Wentz
  • The Eagles don’t have a Day 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — second rounder is gone due to the Wentz trade and now the third is gone as well (the Eagles get the Patriots’ third if Eric Rowe plays at least 50% of New England’s snaps in 2017, however)
  • The Eagles are now counting on Nelson Agholor, who has arguably been the worst wide receiver in the NFL over the past two years, to have a bigger role this season
  • The Eagles lose a hard-working player who was well-liked in the locker room

My grade for this trade is a solid B rating.

I’m not shocked the Eagles traded Matthews. The writing was on the wall. They weren’t going to pay him after this year. Even if they wanted to, which I don’t think they did, they likely wouldn’t be able to afford him considering Philadelphia is tight on cap space after this season.

The Eagles’ young wide receivers have looked good this offseason which made JMatt even more expendable. And the Eagles desperately needed help at corner so Darby is a great addition for Philadelphia’s defense. Giving up a draft pick in addition to Matthews isn’t ideal but it’s not like JMatt had a ton of value since he’s a contract year player.

I liked Darby coming out of Florida State. He had a good rookie season in 2015 before suffering somewhat of a sophomore slump last season. I think he has the potential to be a good long-term starter for the Eagles.

Cornerback is a position that’s plagued the Eagles for forever now. It’s hard to blame the team for trying to invest a lot of resources there in order to get it right. The struggles of Philadelphia’s current crop of corners in offseason practices necessitated the Eagles do something at the position before the season started.

Overall, I’m quite OK with this trade. There’s definitely risk involved but I think it was a risk worth taking for the Eagles.


Grade the Eagles’ decision to trade Jordan Matthews and a draft pick for Ronald Darby

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