The Buffalo Bills acquired wide receiver Jordan Matthews from the Philadelphia Eagles on August 11, 2017. The team dealt a former second-round pick, cornerback Ronald Darby, to the Eagles for Matthews and a third-round draft choice. Matthews was acquired shortly after the team had traded wideout Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round choice.
Matthews was expected to give the Bills a solid target throughout the 2017 season, as the durable receiver had played in 46 of a possible 48 games during his career in Philadelphia. Instead, Matthews played in a career-low 10 games, and set career lows in every major statistical category as a result. This is why he lands at number 7 on our list of 2017’s worst salary cap values for the Buffalo Bills.
2017 Cap Hit (per Spotrac): $1,094,900 (.71% of 2017 Cap)
2017 Cap Hit Rank by Position: 94th among wide receivers
2017 Vital Stats: 10 games, 7 starts (48.29% offensive snaps), 36 targets, 25 catches, 282 yards, 11.3 YPC, 1 TD
No, Matthews did not make a ton of money in 2017. However, he was expected to bring some stability to a receiving corps that had lost its most talented player in Watkins, and featured a rookie starter in Zay Jones. Instead, Matthews had the most injury-plagued season of his career while the player he replaced, Watkins, finished a season healthy for the first time since 2014. Matthews may only have ranked 94th among wide receivers in terms of salary, but Pro Football Focus had him ranked even lower, grading him at a 41.7 for the year. The analytics site listed Matthews as the 113th receiver in the NFL last season.
Some of Matthews’s dip in statistical production makes sense, given the low-volume passing attack employed by the Bills last year. It could also be explained away by his time missed due to injury, as he had surgery on his thumb, knee, and ankle during the 2017 season. However, none of this changes the fact that the 2017 season was a major disappointment for Matthews, who has since been signed by the New England Patriots for the 2018 season.