They dealt their most productive receiver the last three years, Jordan Matthews, to the Buffalo Bills and also sent a 2018 third-round pick to get cornerback Ronald Darby, a deal that will help them much more in the short and long term. In exchange, the Bills acquired Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews, Rams cornerback E.J.
Matthews had been the team's starting slot receiver heading into the 2017 season and caught three of Carson Wentz's four completions in the preseason opener in Green Bay on Thursday night. From the Eagles: A third-year player out of Florida State, Darby was originally drafted by the Bills in the second round (50th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.
They signed free agents Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and then drafted Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Of course, even a down year for Matthews was 73 receptions, 804 yards and 3 touchdowns, so he'll likely continue to produce regardless. And keep in mind that would be a 30-50 pass increase over last season. Both Matthews and Gaines are entering the final season of their contracts, so it's possible neither will have an extended future in Buffalo. They also get another former member of the Buffalo Bills, as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz continues to stockpile players from his previous stop.
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He joins a secondary that lacks top-notch cornerbacks.
Buffalo can avoid paying $14 million of Taylor's $18 million cap number next season if the team releases him before a $6 million roster bonus is due in March. He had 69 tackles with 12 pass breakups last season.
Some of this might be reshuffling of some National Football League deck chairs - getting rid of good young players who won't get expensive contracts for other good young players who might - but for the Eagles, it took their primary problem in the secondary and made it disappear.