Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Bills trade Sammy Watkins to Rams, land Jordan Matthews from Eagles

Bills trade Sammy Watkins to Rams, land Jordan Matthews from Eagles

The Eagles bulked up their secondary, but it did not come without a heavy price.

A lack of reliable players at cornerback and a surplus of wide receivers prompted the Eagles to trade Matthews and a 2018 third-round draft pick to the Bills in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby.

It was evident that the Birds needed help at corner.

After appearing in all 16 regular-season games as a rookie back in 2014, he then made 13 and eight such appearances, respectively, during the two following two seasons.

It is likely that the Eagles opted to move Matthews because he is in a contract year and due for a substantial increase in salary after this season.

If Darby does that, this grade could be substantially better - and nobody will care about that third-round pick.

Gaines is entering his fourth season as a pro.

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He joins a secondary that lacks top-notch cornerbacks. "Looking at that group, we have bunch of young players we're excited about". It's hard to find those guys. Taylor took a $10 million pay cut to remain with the Bills this offseason but his future with the team remains in doubt. Insane how close you can get with someone in a year.

Despite what some might consider inflated numbers, Matthews' production is unquestionable. He followed that up by allowing no touchdowns for the 2013 BCS National Champions. You see him go against the players that we go against in our division - the Bills in 2015 played the NFC East, so you have that look. There's no insurance on any of these things. Nelson Agholor, the Eagles' first-round draft pick in 2015, has been a standout during training camp after two disappointing seasons.

That didn't make the decision to deal Matthews any easier. He was drafted by Philadelphia 42nd overall in the second round of the 2014 draft. He ranks first in receptions (225) and third in receiving yards (2,673) among all-time Eagles in their first three years, and is one of only five players in National Football League history with 65-plus receptions and 800-plus receiving yards in each of their first three seasons, joining a club that includes Randy Moss, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans and A.J. He also had 2,673 receiving yards and 19 TD receptions.

Wentz tweeted out: "Crazy part of this business. "(Matthews) you'll always be my boy both on & off the field.

Roseman said it's not that Matthews wasn't in the team's long-term plans; it was just that the offer in return was good for the team. Since Darby is only 23 years old, this also sets the Eagles up for success in the long run. Darby has two seasons remaining on his contract.

"I'd love to have some continuity there". Certainly we know the production he had.

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