Matthews Ready to Move on Without Bradford
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The biggest advocate for Sam Bradford in the Eagles' locker room has always been Jordan Matthews, the third-year receiver who built up quite a rapport with the now-Minnesota Vikings quarterback.
Despite missing the entire preseason with a bone bruise in his knee suffered during training camp, Matthews was expecting big things with Bradford throwing him the football this season in a new offense, which not only allows the Vanderbilt product to move around a bit more from his usual slot position, it also permits the QB to handle things with more autonomy at the line of scrimmage.
Then came the sudden trade last weekend, which sent the veteran signal caller back to the Midwest for a first-round pick in 2017 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2018.
“Obviously it’s not ideal,” Matthews admitted on Thursday after practice. “I was probably the biggest advocate for Sam coming back. We built a chemistry and it was something I really wanted to carry forward this season.”
Despite that, though, Matthews, one of the greybeards of the Eagles’ receiving corps despite being just 24, understood the thought process behind the blockbuster deal.
“Then the situation came up, it was kinda like the writing on the wall,” Matthews said. “We were the one team that essentially had two guys that you can look at as franchise quarterbacks. Guys that you can put on a team and then compete at a high level.”
In fact, Matthews was so in tuned to what happened he might have a future in the front office if he would like to intern under Howie Roseman.
“You know when you don’t have a first-round pick the next year and those decisions are made, it’s like hey, you gotta roll with it,” he said. “The fact of the matter is I’m happy for Sam, he’s my friend and he went to a contender. But as far as my team, we are in good hands.”
Those good hands, of course, belong to Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, who will make his NFL debut this Sunday against Cleveland.
“I feel like Carson is the guy for the future,” Matthews said. “(His) looks, demeanor. I love his attitude, the way he attacks practice. He has confidence. He has a humility about him but there is also a swagger about him that a lot of guys like and a lot of guys gravitate to.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen