Instant analysis: The Eagles officially bring back Jordan Matthews

After losing DeSean Jackson for the next six weeks, the Eagles were left in a tricky spot. With a lack of production already haunting the wide receiver position and the trade deadline now behind them, they turned to an old friend. Former second-round pick Jordan Matthews. What does this mean for the team moving forward? Here’s everything you need to know.

The player

An Eagles draft selection in 2014, Matthews has 3,255 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns to his name, with most of those coming while donning an Eagles uniform. His best season came in 2015, but Matthews was instrumental in the growth of Carson Wentz as a rookie.

The two headed down to the NovaCare Complex before anyone else had even arrived for OTA’s in order to put in some extra work and from there, the bond was built.

One offseason later, the Eagles shockingly traded Matthews to Buffalo, where he recorded 282 yards. He’d return home one year later, only for the Eagles to avoid bringing him back after a productive stint.

A brief journey to New England and San Francisco later, and the Eagles may finally realize that what they were looking for was stood in front of them all along.

Slotting in

The 6’3, 212 lbs, wideout may be best known for his slot-dominance under Chip Kelly and in the rookie season of Carson Wentz, but during his second stint with the team last year, Matthews showed an evolution to his game.

Catching 20 passes on 28 targets, Matthews recorded 300 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 15 yards per catch. He did this playing only 16% of his snaps from the slot.

Matthews is physical through the stem of the route and drives through contact to locate the ball, which is much more than can be said for Nelson Agholor right now.

The most likely outcome here is that Matthews takes over WR2 responsibilities and flexes all around the line of scrimmage, taking Mack Hollins out of the equation and giving Wentz some familiarity.

The bond

The relationship between Carson Wentz and Jordan Matthews extends way beyond the football field. The two are best friends and the Eagles quarterback even gave Matthews one of his dog’s puppies during his rookie year.

Given that the wide receivers are struggling almightily with drops and consistency, having a familiar face who Wentz already trusts will likely work wonders for a struggling group of wide receivers.

Why?

In my opinion, the Eagles should never have parted ways with Matthews to begin with. It’s now the third time he’s been brought back and he’s done nothing but produce every single time he’s put on an Eagles jersey.

The Vanderbilt product has a real chance to throw the Cat among the Pigeons however, with Nelson Agholor in his contract year. If Matthews can show he’s just as consistent as ever, then the audition to replace the former first-round pick could bring in really positive results.

Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

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