After a busy offseason that saw the Philadelphia Eagles add Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to their wide receiving corps, the team used its depth to land a massive upgraded at cornerback. On Friday, Philadelphia sent wide receiver Jordan Matthews and its 2018 third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby.
Matthews arrival in Buffalo follows the trade that sent Sammy Watkins to Los Angeles and created a vacancy in the Bills wide receivers group. The 25-year-old found himself on the outside in Philadelphia and it seemed a matter of time before the team would move on from him.
An impending free agent next offseason, Matthews now finds himself in a role where he can try and produce before free agency hits. It's good news for Matthews and fantasy owners given he goes from the fourth-option in a passing attack to the top option in Buffalo's passing attack. He will become a go-to target for Tyrod Taylor as they develop chemistry over the coming weeks.
The move for Buffalo is even more so about the acquisition of the third-round pick. Matthews could turn into a nice piece for them this season, but more importantly is the team's possession of two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks in 2018. This is a team ready to rebuild and the efforts after they hit the reset button will come in 2018.
For Philadelphia, the move is an easy decision. While the absence of a second and now third-round selection in the 2018 draft will hurt, they turned a depth wide receiver for them into a strong, young cornerback that will start right away and contribute for years.
Darby, 23, is due just $615,000 in 2018 and $705,000 in 2019, a steal of a rookie contract. He serves as a significant upgrade at cornerback for Philadelphia and if second-round pick Sidney Jones can return from his torn Achilles' and play at his healthy levels, the Eagles will have two top, young cornerbacks for the near future.