As the dust settles on the shocking trade of Jordan Matthews to the Buffalo Bills, fans wonder why exactly a trade of that magnitude happened in the middle of August and what it means for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are in full training camp mode as the regular season approaches and the trade of wide receiver Jordan Matthews has a few underlying layers to the move. It is unusual for teams to make a trade this time of year but Howie Roseman has a few valid reasons behind such an unorthodox move.
With such a bold trade of an established receiver, Howie is obviously telling the rest of the football world that he has complete faith in his off-season signings of Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith. Both were acquired to help booster an underachieving unit find it’s footing and gain some leadership on the offensive side of the ball. Adding two new established receivers will always cause chemistry issues but apparently the front office has enough confidence that those issues will not be a deciding factor in the Eagles success this year. Having confidence in their receiving core is a huge turnaround for the organization as the struggles in 2016 directly correlated with bad play of the wide receiver position.
Another obvious reason behind such a trade is the lack of faith that the front office has in their corner backs. A team does not give up an established talent like Jordan Matthews, who is entering the prime of his career unless they are filling a necessary hole. Howie knows that the defense as an unit struggled last year and in a division with the likes of Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr., a shutdown corner back is more important to the team’s success then a slot receiver. Acquiring a player like Ronald Darby, helps the Eagles compete for a NFC East crown this year. The arrival of Ronald Darby also gives the likes of Fletcher Cox and the rest of the defensive line confidence when blitzing the star studded quarterbacks in the division.
By trading Matthews, Howie Roseman is also showing complete confidence in his second year quarterback Carson Wentz. Losing a security blanket like Matthews, who often came out of the slot for Wentz, might not be the most beneficial thing for a quarterback who is still learning. Roseman shows faith in his franchise quarterback by trading an important offensive weapon like Matthews otherwise a move like that doesn’t happen. Wentz’s development must be ahead of schedule.
A slot receiver usually doesn’t make or break a team’s season but a trade like this will have a major impact throughout the season. Howie Roseman’s bold decision could have major ramifications on both the offense and the defensive side of the ball. Only time will tell if this trade was a good move but with the expectations of improvement on the horizon the Eagles must figure out a way to succeed without Jordan Matthews. Otherwise, Howie Roseman might also not be with the Philadelphia Eagles anymore.
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