Welcome to Buffalo, Jordan Matthews.
One might have assumed Matthews, who was traded to the Bills on Friday (along with a conditional third-round pick in 2018) for cornerback Ronald Darby, would received a warm welcome from LeSean McCoy, his former teammate in Philadelphia.
But McCoy seemed more focused on the Bills’ equally-shocking decision to trade away injury-prone wide receiver Sammy Watkins in a seperate deal, who the team paid a high price to draft No. 4 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
“Obviously it’s a difference with the two,” McCoy said when comparing the two wide receivers to Buffalo News sports reporter Jay Skurski. “If you compare the two, it’s an obvious grade who’s better, but you don’t know how things will play out.”
McCoy, who played alongside Matthews during the wide receiver’s rookie season in 2014, did make a point of noting he was a hard worker and a good kid. And he was high on Matthews back in 2014, after the Eagles selected the former Vanderbilt standout in the second round.
“That rookie we got, Matthews, is looking real good. There’s been a lot of talk about this draft class being deep at wide receivers, but I’m real confident in this one being the best of the class,” McCoy said at the time. “It’s still early, you got to go through the season and see how he does, but he looks amazing.”
Matthews did perform well for the Eagles his rookie season, reeling in 67 passes for 872 yards and eight touchdowns in just 10 starts. Over the past two seasons, he’s caught 158 passes for 1,801 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Birds.
It’s obvious McCoy and many of his teammates were still a bit stunned at the loss of Watkins, who was expected to return strong this season after sitting out much of 2016 with a foot injury.
“We have a long season. We can’t do anything about it now,” McCoy said. “We’ve just got to move on with what we have and get it going.”
Walking into a situation like this is going to be tough for Matthews, something that might have been on his mind as he arrived at Buffalo Niagara International Airport last night.
Jordan Matthews arrives in Buffalo tonight 🙁
Joining former teammate LeSean McCoy
Jordan high character guy. Will be missed pic.twitter.com/qzy4IAB0WW
— John Clark CSN/NBC (@JClarkCSN) August 12, 2017