Jordan Matthews will forever be intertwined with the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re the team that drafted him and the franchise he achieved the most with. Through his opening three seasons with the team, he became one of the NFL’s most consistent slot receivers and a security blanket for both Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. His second tenure saw him notch a touchdown against the Saints in the playoffs. While his third was a little more forgettable, is it time to call his number once again?
Usually, this wouldn’t be worth considering. The Eagles have a wide receiver room that’s bursting with more young talent than they know what to do with. But at Tight End, things are much murkier and the team seem to have an affinity for positional converts.
We all know that Zach Ertz is potentially playing on borrowed time and while Howie Roseman tries to pencil Dallas Goedert to a contract extension, depth behind him isn’t exactly awe-inspiring for either the short or long term.
Richard Rodgers had his second-most productive NFL season yet last year in the absence of Ertz and returns to the team as their notable TE3, but after playing just 8 games over the two years prior to last season, there are some natural durability concerns. If you partner this with the potential departure of Ertz and the fact that Dallas Goedert has also been prone to picking up minor injuries, there’s bound to be some competition at the back of the depth chart.
The Eagles have an affinity for developing receivers who can move even tighter to the line of scrimmage. This probably has something to do with the extra speed, agility, and catching ability that they’ll be able to bring to the table. It may not always work and it’s still early days, but this is where Jordan Matthews comes in.
ESPN’s Turron Davenport noted earlier in the offseason that Matthews would be converting to tight end this offseason in a bid to keep his NFL career going. The 28-year-old will be working out in front of pro scouts at a free agent camp this weekend, according to Aaron Wilson.
This will be the first time that scouts have seen the former second-round pick play at tight end. Matthews has reportedly bulked up 30 pounds above his previous playing weight of 215.
Matthews spent most of last season on the sideline for the San Francisco 49ers, Playing in only 14 total snaps and doing so without a target. The Eagles know Jordan better than most. They’ve spent three stints together and know the type of player, and more importantly, the type of person he is.
Jordan Matthews has long-been highly regarded among his peers and played a role in helping Nelson Agholor overcome his mental struggles in 2015. He was the oldest wideout in what was once again a very young room. With Jalen Reagor showing shades of early teething problems, having Matthews around the facility just to lend an ear and potentially give advice to a room of youthful wideouts wouldn’t exactly be the worst thing in the world.
As a player, he’s proven before to be a reliable possession receiver who has come up big on numerous occasions. Overtime touchdowns, playoff touchdowns, he’s been there and done it. If he can translate his slightly more physical skillset to tight end, then it’s at least worth taking a punt on over the Summer.
What is there to lose?
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