Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz on Jordan Matthews trade: 'It's tough' but 'part of the business'

Carson Wentz on Jordan Matthews trade: 'It's tough' but 'part of the business'

On Friday night, Carson Wentz and a few teammates took Jordan Matthews out to dinner at Bar Amis in the Navy Yard for a final farewell.

"Then I drove him over to the airport," Wentz said Saturday after practice.

This was a Welcome-to-the-NFL moment for the Eagles' second-year quarterback.

Just like that, his favorite receiver and one of his closest friends was no longer his teammate.

“You know, it’s tough," Wentz said. "It’s one of those things where there’s the personal side of things and the football side of things.

"The football side of things, you’ve just got to trust what they’re doing upstairs. Ultimately, they’re the ones that make those decisions and what they think is best for the team, I’m going to be in support of 100 percent. They haven’t let me down or this team down yet.

"But on a personal side, it’s tough. This is my first time experiencing something like this with someone who’s one of my best friends. You know? And seeing him yesterday, it was tough on him, too. It was kind of out of the blue. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s just kind of tough personally.”

The Eagles traded Matthews and a third-round pick to the Bills on Friday morning for cornerback Ronald Darby.

Wentz completed 73 passes to Matthews last year. His next-favorite targets among wide receivers were Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham, with 36 catches each.

He said executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman did not consult with him before executing the trade but did speak with him soon after.

"He told me it was already done," Wentz said. "I just said that’s part of the business.

"Obviously, he knew how I felt with Jordan being one of my best friends. So on the personal side it’s tough, and he knew that, he was prepared for that, and I told him that, but keeping business business is just part of that."

Matthews, whose 225 catches are ninth-most in NFL history by a wide receiver in his first three seasons, was among the most popular guys in the locker room.

Several players spoke Saturday about the impact he's made in their lives in a short period of time. Zach Ertz said, "He'll always be my brother."

Wentz seemed a bit shaken Saturday when he spoke about Matthews.

“Just seeing the reaction on Twitter from all the guys in the locker room just speaks to the guy he was, the high-character guy he was, and the respect he had around here both in the locker room and in the whole building," he said.

"It’ll be different, it’ll be tough, but it just speaks to the guy he was. Everyone loved him. He was the ultimate competitor out here. It was always about the team first.

"Replacing a guy like that in the locker room is definitely not going to be easy.

What about replacing him on the field?

Wentz was pretty honest about how much he'll miss Matthews. Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are newcomers, and Jeffery hasn't practiced much this summer. Mack Hollins is a rookie. Nelson Agholor has never played up to expectations.

How do you replace 75 catches for 900 yards and 6½ touchdowns a year?

“That’ll be tough, too," Wentz said. "We believe we have some younger guys and some guys that have kind of proven themselves here in the offseason and training camp and everything that can really kind of step up and take on that role to some extent.

"We also have a guy like Trey Burton, that last year filled in nicely there and can do some things. It’ll open up some opportunities for some other guys.

"But obviously Jordan’s been extremely productive the last couple years, so missing that piece in the slot, it’s not going to be easy to replace, but I’m confident we have a number of guys who can hopefully step up and do a great job.”

Wentz lost his favorite target and closest friend, and he sounded like it Saturday. It was by far the most candid interview he's done since getting here last spring.

Asked about the chemistry he had with Matthews and how long it will take to develop it with his new receivers, he answered honestly.

"Obviously, that takes time," he said. "We were so close off the field that on the field it helped to just know what to expect from each other.

"It does take time, but I feel like this spring, Jordan was out a little bit and I had a chance to develop that chemistry with some other guys this summer, throwing with those guys, training camp, and now these last couple weeks before the season comes around, we’ll get more work."

Through a quirk of the preseason schedule, Matthews, LeSean McCoy and Jordan Poyer will be back Thursday, when the Bills face the Eagles in a preseason game at the Linc.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott, a long-time Andy Reid assistant, has a number of familiar faces on his coaching staff, including Leslie Frazier, David Culley, Juan Castillo and Chad Hall.

Wentz was asked what it will be like seeing Matthews trot out the visiting tunnel before the game Thursday night.

“It’s going to be weird," he said. "It’s going to be really weird. It’s not going to be fun, I’ll tell you that.”

Wentz made one thing clear. They may no longer be teammates, but they'll always be friends.

“We’re still so close off the field," Wentz said. "That’s not going to go anywhere just because he’s in Buffalo."

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

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AP Images

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

Former Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson injured two police officers while trying to flee during a family court hearing on Tuesday, according to police, via The Miami Herald.

Patterson, 34, appeared in Lawson E. Thomas Court Center when he was ordered by the judge to be taken into custody. At that time, he tried to run out of the door and tackled a female officer who fell and hit her head, while another officer suffered a wrist injury before Patterson was taken into custody.

The female officer was taken to the hospital but later released.

This isn’t Patterson’s first brush with the law. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported in 2015 that the Miami native was charged with felony child abuse.

Per police reports obtained from the incident, Patterson met his ex-girlfriend at Aventura Mall on Aug. 1, 2015, for a custody exchange of their 1-year-old child when an argument ensued over child support payments.

“While placing the boy in the back seat of the car, Medina told Patterson to calm down, warning him that she wouldn't allow him to take the child,” Cimini reported.

“Patterson ‘grabbed her around her neck and threw her to the ground,’ according to the incident report. ‘While this occurred, [Medina] was holding [the boy]. This action caused [him] to fall also and hit his head.’”

Court records show Patterson was eventually acquitted for culpable negligence and battery.

Patterson spent time with the Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Browns, Dolphins and Jets during his eight-year career. With the Eagles in 2009 and 2010, he appeared in 27 games (nine starts) with 50 tackles, four interceptions and one sack.

Patterson was last with the Jets in 2014 but suspended indefinitely by the team after leaving without contacting the organization. He was released a short time later and retired.

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.