Advertisement

Carson Wentz, Eagles teammates taking Jordan Matthews trade hard

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- When word came out Friday that Jordan Matthews had been traded to the Buffalo Bills, five of his teammates -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton, linebacker Jordan Hicks and safety Chris Maragos -- quickly arranged for a dinner at the Navy Yard near the team's training complex in South Philly to give him an appropriate sendoff.

"It was emotional -- obviously, we all were," Ertz said. "We lost a brother."

The "down" mood, as safety Malcolm Jenkins described it, carried over into Saturday's proceedings at the NovaCare Complex. Part of the somber vibe, he said, could be attributed to the fact that the Eagles were less than 48 hours removed from a preseason game and were put through a nearly three-hour, fully padded, live-hitting practice by coach Doug Pederson. But there is no question that Matthews' departure was weighing on the minds of many as well.

Wentz in particular seemed to be taking it hard.

"On the personal side, it's tough" an emotional Wentz said as he was coming off the practice field. "This is my first time experiencing this with someone that's one of my best friends. Seeing him yesterday, it's tough on him, too. It's kind of out of the blue."

There had been speculation about a possible Matthews trade for weeks now, but the timing "blindsided" Matthews, according to one of his teammates. The thought was that the window for a potential trade had passed. Matthews was finally feeling healthy and hitting his stride and expected to play out the final year of his rookie contract with the team that drafted him.

The Eagles were not giving the impression that Matthews was in their long-term plans, however. Feeling good about the young receivers in the pipeline and in serious need of an upgrade at corner, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick to Buffalo for talented defensive back Ronald Darby. The 23-year-old Darby was at practice Saturday but could not participate because Matthews had yet to pass his physical with the Bills.

Eagles players expressed optimism about what Darby can bring to the team and, to a man, said they understood the business side of it. For many, though, there was a sense of personal loss.

"The only way I can really relate it is like when you are in elementary school or middle school and your best friend growing up, you are going to the same school and then one day his parents move to a different city and he's gone," Burton said. "And you are like, 'OK, what the heck do I do?'"

Advertisement

Continue reading at ESPN »