PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jordan Matthews is too smart to play the speculation game. The 6’3″, 212-pound wide receiver out of Vanderbilt is entering his fourth NFL season, after being selected by the Eagles in the second round of the 2014 draft.
He knows this is the last year of his rookie contract. He knows there have been things tossed out about his future with the Eagles.
More came out this week, when former Eagles’ scout Daniel Jeremiah, now an analyst with the NFL Network who still has some ties to the Eagles’ front office, said that Nelson Agholor will be the Eagles’ slot receiver—not Matthews.
Matthews, to his credit, basically shrugged it off.
“I think my biggest thing is am I getting reps now, am I getting opportunities to go out and make plays, that’s my only focus,” said Matthews, who played in 14 games last year and made 73 catches for 804 yards and three touchdowns—with both the yardage and touchdown total being career lows. “I can’t worry too much about what Daniel Jeremiah says, or any of those guys. They don’t play ball. They aren’t in the front office. I don’t even know if they know how to play football. So I can’t really speculate on that too much.”
Matthews continued that football—especially the NFL—is unpredictable.
Matthews said that the Eagles’ receiver corps is so deep, now with the off-season acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and reinvigorated play of Agholor, this training camp that there is competition all around.
“Our team isn’t just one dimensional, where you comes to lining up three receivers all of the time, you can have two receivers, and have Trey Burton split at the slot position a whole game,” Matthews said. “It’s about who are going to make the plays consistently, and be able to put that trust in the coaches, ‘Ok, we want this guy out here in this position to make this play.’
“If I get more reps and I make them, then that’s going to be the defining factor.”
Matthews stressed that no one motivates him more than he does himself. He’s aware the NFL is an ever-changing world, with a draft and free agency every year.
“Teams are always looking to move stuff around, and teams are always looking for a better person than they have, so you always have to train like that,” Matthews said. “It shouldn’t change the way you go about things. If you have a standard of work that you have, you have to stick to it.”