'You're losing a brother': Philadelphia Eagles react to Jordan Matthews' departure

Buffalo Bills' LeSean McCoy once felt Jordan Matthews was best WR in 2014 draft

Matthews led the Eagles in receiving in 2016, catching 73 passes for 804 yards and three touchdowns in Wentz's first season in the league.

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 in the Navy Yard near the team's training complex in South Philly to give him an appropriate sendoff.

The difference between the fantasy football complaint of 2011 and today is that there was no similar outrage expressed by any of the players about a squad that, for better or worse, will have a new look and feel with Matthews suddenly out of the picture.

No, a revolt was not forthcoming. They shipped receiver Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft to the Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines.

"This isn't one where you're celebrating and doing a dance because you're giving up a good player and a good pick", Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. Matthews earned widespread respect from teammates and developed deep-seated bonds with many of them.

The "down" mood, as safety Malcolm Jenkins described it, carried over into Saturday's proceedings at the NovaCare Complex. "Those guys were with me at Buffalo so it's good to be around people you know", Darby said after Saturday's practice.

He was a beloved teammate and a great locker room presence for Philadelphia. So yeah ... definitely down today. You got to make some tough choices from time to time.

Wentz in particular seemed to be taking it hard. "This is my first time experiencing this with someone that is one of my best friends. That's not going to go anywhere just because he's in Buffalo now".

After driving Matthews to the airport on Friday, reality hit.

"On the personal side, it's tough" an emotional Wentz said as he was coming off the practice field. Or at least they did until the Eagles decided to make a big trade. And teams that have them aren't really ready to move them. Before the start of Matthew's rookie season, McCoy went as far as to say that he was confident that Matthews was the best receiver in the 2014 draft class. But he put on a bold face nevertheless. "We lost a brother.he's a brother for life to me". "The next person steps up and here we go. We felt that this was a good opportunity for both sides". "That's business as usual". "I stay after [practice] and do some releases with receivers, it's Jordan Matthews. For me now, in my daily preparation, I have to find a new Jordan Matthews". "He's had a big role in a lot of guys' lives".

"I know it's a young group".

"He helped me develop so much", Ertz said. "I don't know. It's not going to be fun, I'll tell you that". "Going to miss going to battle with (Matthews) on Sunday! And that's the business".

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