As you might have heard, the Buffalo Bills made a couple of trades today. While the biggest return could end up being the draft picks (a second and a third next year), let’s take a look at the guy who will be back-filling Sammy Watkins’ spot on the roster.
Jordan Matthews was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014...so, yes, he’s in a contract year. In 46 career games, he has 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. He finished second on the team in all three categories behind tight end Zach Ertz last year, but he’s been a clear number one receiver given the lack of development from Nelson Agholor.
That said, those numbers might not be as good as they’re cracked up to be. Matthews has been the beneficiary of a multitude of circumstances in Philly, like the presence of pass-happy Chip Kelly in his first two seasons with the team.
Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation, our Eagles blog at SB Nation, had this to say about the trade:
“I’m not shocked the Eagles traded Jordan 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 have had a bunch of their younger wide receivers step up this offseason which made JMatt expendable. And the Eagles desperately needed help at corner so Ronald 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 as a contract year player.
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.”
At this point, it seems like the Bills moved to a lower risk/reward tier with Matthews over Watkins. He’s nowhere near the talent that Sammy is, but he’s not going to cost very much to keep around if he plays well.