Matthews has been the best slot receiver in the National Football League over the past three seasons, pulling in more yards from the slot than any other player. In his short career, Matthews has recorded 225 receptions for 2,673 and 19 touchdowns. He has pulled in at least 67 catches in each season he has been with the Eagles, and has missed only two games in three seasons. The others are Randy Moss, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins.
Cornerback was clearly the team's greatest need, and there was a clamoring to do something. 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. The 5-11, 190-pounder had two interceptions and 137 tackles. He was miscast as a No. 1 receiver, dropped too many passes and was pushing Nelson Agholor down the depth chart. He played in just half of the games of the season, racking up just 28 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns scored. Rookie Sidney Jones could also become a factor when he's recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The departure of Watkins strips quarterback Tyrod Taylor of his top passing target this season. "People are spreading you out (on defense) with three- and four-wide receiver packages". It's hard to find those guys. Philadelphia did sign wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith in the offseason. In exchange for Watkins and Darby, they did acquire needed position players but also two future draft picks.
Roseman said he had a "knot in his stomach" before talking to Matthews on Friday morning and certainly thought about the possible locker room ramifications a deal like this one might have.
Wentz tweeted out: "Crazy part of this business".
"Honestly don't think a teammate had a bigger impact on my life", Ertz wrote.
The Bills originally had the ninth overall selection but, traded up to fourth with the Cleveland Browns to select Watkins.