Rating the Rumor: Eagles open to dealing Jordan Matthews

Rating the Rumor: Eagles open to dealing Jordan Matthews

While speculation about Jordan Matthews’ future with the Eagles is already in full force, on occasion it’s important to note the language that’s used in a report. Charles Robinson for Yahoo Sports said he believes the club is open to dealing their leading wide receiver IF another team makes a solid offer.

This is not the same as saying the Eagles are actively shopping Matthews, or that the organization is hoping to go in a different direction. It’s simply one reporter’s read of the situation that executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman would not hang up if somebody inquired, which is true of everybody on the roster not named Carson Wentz.

Still, it got people talking because the idea is not without merit. Matthews is entering the final year of his contract, and it’s anticipated the Eagles will add multiple receivers through the 2017 NFL Draft and free agency, which opens on March 9. You can see how his specific set of circumstances might present some challenges.

Matthews’ agent will no doubt begin angling for an extension soon, if he hasn’t already. The money that’s about to be thrown around in free agency will set the stage for a lucrative deal for one of only seven players in NFL history to record at least 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns over his first three seasons. We’re talking a potential for upwards of $10 million annually.

Should the Eagles pay that? Most fans would casually answer, “No,” but that’s the going rate, and for all his flaws, Matthews has produced.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Eagles don’t value Matthews that highly, they add two receivers in the draft – one early and one late – and a veteran wideout in free agency. If that’s the case, he’s almost certainly going to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and walks away.

Assuming that is the most likely scenario, the Eagles absolutely should explore a trade. However, there still isn’t any urgency to do so. When Matthews inevitably leaves for a long-term, big-money contract elsewhere, the club will be compensated with a compensatory draft pick by the league, potentially as a high as a third-round pick.

If a receiver-needy team like the Eagles is willing to part ways with Matthews, what do you suppose he’s worth in a swap? Likely no better than a third would be the guess here. As the reporter said, Roseman needs to be enticed by a solid offer, which is something better than what the NFL will award at a later date.

There’s really no reason for another team to come swooping in with an offer, either. In fact, there’s no reason at all to contact the Eagles about Matthews at the moment, because there are about 100 wide receivers hitting the market in a matter of days, no trade required.

Alshon Jeffery. Brandon Marshall. Terrelle Pryor. DeSean Jackson. Pierre Garcon. Kenny Stills. Kenny Britt. Victor Cruz. In terms of trades, Brandin Cooks is available. What could the Eagles possibly hope to get in return for Matthews when the market is flooded with talent at the position, and all the rest of the league has to do is open the checkbook?

Considering the Eagles aren’t motivated to move Matthews, and the need for his services doesn’t exist at this point in time, it’s sort of a moot point. Maybe once everybody is signed, somehow there will be a roster out there somewhere that didn’t manage to fill a void at receiver, opening up the possibility to explore a trade around the draft.

Even then, Matthews is a better receiver than people often give him credit, and it’s uncertain the Eagles would be in a rush to part ways. After all, this team has a desperate need at receiver, so why trade the only sure thing they have?

Rating the Rumor: Unconvincing, but check back in April

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

There are times in all of our Internet lives when we come across a piece of content that we don't quite understand, that we didn't really know we needed, yet fills our black Philadelphia sports fan hearts with joy anyway.

Today is one of those days.

And that piece of content is this Game of Zones x Embiid mashup.

If you're unfamiliar, this is the latest in Bleacher Report's fun take on a Game of Thrones/NBA mashup.

There's the mountain of a man that is Joel Embiid laid up with a presumably bum knee. There's the Temple of Shirley potion to give him life. There's the maester Sam Hinkie shouting off his analytics spells. There's Hinkie talking about growing the seeds and reaping the harvest. There's a terrifying looking Dario. There is a raising of the cat. 

Perhaps the best part is Jahlil Okafor attempting to hold the door.

What does it all mean? I don't know. But I trust it.

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

With one season in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz’s belt, Eagles fans are well aware of the intensity the defensive coordinator brings to the sidelines. But before joining Doug Pederson's staff, Schwartz attracted plenty of attention during a five-year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013. A highlight of his tenure in the Motor City developed a new wrinkle this week.

Maybe the most memorable moment during his time in Detroit was the unnecessarily ugly midfield feud in 2011’s Week 6 with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz marched to midfield for the postgame handshake after his Lions took their first loss of the season. Harbaugh, a usually-excited guy with cause for a little extra enthusiasm after a fourth straight win, came in too strong for Schwartz’s liking. Schwartz chased down Harbaugh as he ran for the tunnel and the two exchanged some choice words. Coaches and players flocked to the tussle. What started as standard postgame procedure became the national talking-point nobody needed for the ensuing week.

The six-year-old incident returned to the conversation this week with Harbaugh, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, admitting on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast (and as transcribed by ESPN) that he was to blame for things getting out of hand. 

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake," Harbaugh said on the podcast. "We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. ... There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as a loser. You just, 'Nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong."

On top of discussing his gifting Pope Francis a pair of Jordan sneakers and his theory that bringing a glove to catch a foul ball is acceptable for fans, Harbaugh went on to explain the last time he got in a real fight, as opposed to the silly scrum that went down at Ford Field that fateful day. He was 39, at the end of his days as a player, and got into it with two men at a restaurant.

"I did not win," he said. "I cannot say I won. I didn't get crushed, either. I got some blows in."

Harbaugh has a reputation for his passion, and the handshake debacle with Schwartz was no exception. It’s just that his passion often translates to doing things in a non-traditional way. He’s the khakis guy, always sporting his trademark dad-pants on the sidelines — he even tucked an Allen Iverson jersey into them once. He’ll do anything to get a leg up in recruiting, for example, sleeping over at a recruit's house for some “Netflix and Chill.”

Schwartz, similarly, is frequently fired up, and that aggression bleeds into his defensive scheme. 

Harbaugh is in the college game now, so the development in this nearly forgotten exchange isn’t life-changing. But if he ever returns to the pros, it’s good to know a postgame handshake with Schwartz wouldn't revive any bad blood.