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The Jordan Matthews Trade Is Looking Better and Better

If you’re still upset about the Jordan Matthews trade, you need to re-evaluate your fandom.

I’m on record saying I didn’t like the trade when it first happened, but I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. Sending Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Ronald Darby could possibly be Howie Roseman’s best move this past offseason (and every offseason since he took control of player personnel).

Before the season is over, the Eagles could boast a cornerback tandem of: 1.) A player who was in the running for rookie of the year back in 2015 in Ronald Darby and 2.) A consensus first round pick (selected in the second round) in Sidney Jones. Mix in Jalen Mills in the slot and a ball-hawking lanky defensive back in Rasul Douglas, and the Eagles’ secondary just got terrifying. Can you say #NoPhlyZone? A healthy Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones take this defense from good to great instantly.

Put the obvious defensive enhancements aside, the Eagles’ offense even improved with the subtraction of Jordan Matthews. J-Matt made his money in the middle of the field, beating out the smaller slot corners and using his size to his advantage. While that was super successful, it wasn’t the best use of the middle of the field. Coincidentally, Zach Ertz also does his best work in the middle of the field, as well. Having two players who excel in the same niche area isn’t ideal.

There is less clutter in the middle of the field, leading Zach Ertz to number one tight end numbers. Seriously, since he came into the league four years ago we have been saying, “This is the year Ertz breaks out,” every season. But this is finally the year, and it’s partly due to J-Matt getting sent to Buffalo. Call it 65% no J-Matt, 35% him and Carson Wentz being on the same page at all times.

For the stat lovers, Ertz is actually leading the NFL in targets (58) and receiving yards (405). He’s tied for first in touchdowns with Rob Gronkowski at four. Ertz is finally producing the way the fans knew he would when he was drafted back in 2013.

With Ertz taking all the mismatches, Nelson Agholor is left playing against the slot corners and he is thriving there. This season Agholor has 20 catches for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He only has one drop this season. ONE! This is the guy who couldn’t get out of his own way last year and through six games he really earned an extension. There was a point (seven weeks ago) where I would have thought there was no way in hell that Agholor would be an Eagle in 2018. Now I can’t picture this offense without him.

For what it’s worth: Jordan Matthews has 10 catches for 162 yards and one touchdown in four games this season. Thank you, Howie!

I know we’re only six weeks into the season, but it’s really looking like the Eagles have become a better team in the long run since dealing Matthews. I don’t hate the guy by any means and I wish him the best, but my Birds come first always and I’m happy to see Agholor and Ertz flourish in this offense.

You can follow Anthony Mazziotti on Twitter (@AntMazziotti) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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