Carson Wentz Says Jordan Matthews Trade Was 'Tough'

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2017

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) and quarterback Carson Wentz (11) celebrate a touchdown scored by Matthews on a pass from Went in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

One day after the Philadelphia Eagles traded wide receiver Jordan Matthews to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby, quarterback Carson Wentz said it was "tough" to lose his favorite target and spoke about his departure heading into the 2017 NFL season. 

Reuben Frank of CSN passed along Wentz's comments Saturday:     

At the beginning of the month, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported there had been "speculation" the Eagles were planning to give third-year wideout Nelson Agholor more playing time in the slot at the expense of Matthews. 

Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich didn't exactly quiet those rumors by telling Berman "every spot's up for competition" and the plan for the slot receiver "is a little bit different than last year."

Agholor was Philadelphia's first-round draft pick in 2015 at No. 20 overall. He has recorded 59 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns over his first two seasons. 

In 2016, Matthews led the Eagles with 117 targets, and he finished second on the team with 73 receptions, 804 yards and three touchdowns. 

Despite that production, Matthews' receiving yards and touchdowns marked his lowest in a season since the Eagles drafted him in the second round in 2014. 

The loss of Matthews could have a huge impact on Wentz's development in his second NFL season, as he's still developing a rapport with free-agent additions Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

ESPN.com's Tim McManus noted Wentz threw four passes during the Eagles' preseason opener Thursday against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and three of them were to Matthews.

In acquiring Darby, the front office also gave up a 2018 third-round draft pick to the Bills. The Eagles' middle-of-the-road defense will welcome the addition of the 23-year-old corner, but it could come at the expense of helping Wentz further his development in 2017.