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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 Giants targeted Eagles CB Jalen Mills a historic amount

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USA Today Images

The Giants targeted Eagles CB Jalen Mills a historic amount

If it felt as though Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was involved in every other play against the Giants on Sunday, well, that’s actually not too far off.

We knew Mills saw a lot of action. He was shadowing Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for most of the afternoon, which is usually a sure sign a lot of footballs are going to come your way. One look at the box score can tell you Mills finished with a game-high 12 tackles.

That only tells part of the story. The Giants went after Mills so much, it made history.

Mills was targeted 21 times in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus — the highest number any cornerback has faced in over 10 years. PFF’s numbers only date back to 2006, but even if it’s only the most in the last decade, and not all-time, that’s still saying something in the increasingly pass-happy NFL.

To put that in perspective, Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw 47 passes total, so nearly half went to Mills’ man.

And how did Mills fare? Predictably, it was a mixed bag. Manning completed 71.4 percent of those attempts for 119 yards. Thirteen of those targets alone were for Beckham, who finished with nine receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

When you put it like that, it sounds bad. However, the Eagles — Mills included — were playing a lot of off-man coverage and conceding routes underneath. So while Mills allowed a high volume of completions, those plays only amounted to 5.7 yards per attempt.

Granted, Beckham found the end zone twice. More often than not, Mills was limiting Giants receivers to short gains. In fact, the longest completion the second-year defensive back allowed went for 14 yards, as well as only 23 total yards after the catch.

"Besides those (two touchdowns), you always want them back in the red zone," Beckham said. "Both were contested. Both were short. For the most part of the game, I think I played pretty well."

PFF described it as “death by a thousand paper cuts,” but it wasn’t Mills’ death at all. All things considered, he did pretty much what the banged-up Eagles defense needed him to do to secure a victory.

Giants WR Brandon Marshall allegedly spit on Eagles fan

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USA Today Images

Giants WR Brandon Marshall allegedly spit on Eagles fan

Odell Beckham Jr. pretended to urinate on the Eagles’ home field, but it was Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall who may have crossed the line with his use of bodily fluids Sunday.

A video shows the unidentified Eagles fan accuse Marshall of spitting on him amid a heated verbal exchange during pregame warmups. It’s unclear what compelled a six-time Pro Bowl selection to have words with some guy wearing a Randall Cunningham throwback jersey, but if Marshall did spit, it was after he was repeatedly challenged to a fight.

There is no visual confirmation as to whether Marshall spit on the man, either, as the footage appears to be shot on the first smartphone ever made. Marshall’s head does make a forward motion as if he were spitting. Then again, some people just have trouble controlling their saliva when they’re yelling, too, leaving open the small-percentage chance this was accidental spittle.

You be the judge.

Spit or not spit, it will be interesting to see if the Eagles and Lincoln Financial Field rethink their policy on allowing fans on the field before certain games after this little — ahem — spat.

(h/t Sporting News)