Philadelphia Eagles Rumors: Jordan Matthews Defends Nelson Agholor as Rishard Matthews, Travis Benjamin Targets if Riley Cooper Released?

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Jan 22, 2016 11:00 AM EST
Jordan Matthews
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews makes a catch during a game against the Houston Texans. "

While Sam Bradford is getting all of the attention with the Philadelphia Eagles right now, the team has other decisions to make on players heading into the 2016 season. With Doug Pederson officially signed as the new head coach, roster evaluation will happen immediately and several players could be released as a result. Riley Cooper could find that out the hard way as the Eagles could aim to get a new receiver in the offseason.

According to Jeff McClane of, Cooper is not expected to be in Philadelphia next season. Cooper was a favorite for Chip Kelly, but with the head coach gone and a $5.3 million salary cap hit to his name, the receiver is not expected to return under the new coaching regime. Cooper's stats simply do not match what his contract dictates. That means there is one hole in the offense. Josh Huff could create a second hole. The receiver was expected to step up this season and failed to do so. His contract is easy to keep on, but low stats hurt his value with the team.

Entering the 2016 season, the Eagles will have Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor as their presumed top two receivers. Matthews is coming off a season where dropped passes marred his chances at a 1,000-yard season. Agholor is coming off an underwhelming rookie season. He struggled with an ankle injury and had a hard time finding his place in the offense. The first-round pick finished the season with 23 catches for 283 yards and one touchdown. According to Matthews, the criticism on Agholor is unfair.

"What's wrong with Nelson Agholor? Nelson Agholor is young," Matthews said, via "You put most young people in their profession, whatever it may be, in those bright lights, on that stage, it is going to be hard. But if you watch Nelson, though, the thing that makes you positive about the whole situation is how he works on his technique. If a ball goes on the ground, he's still reaching down and trying to catch it. It's not like he's scared and trying to body it or shying away from the moment. He goes out there and attacks it every single day. It's just something that takes a little time."

The Eagles will need to make a signing for a wide receiver this offseason. Given the age of both Matthews and Agholor, signing a veteran would be a wise idea to help whoever is at the quarterback position. Travis Benjamin, Rishard Matthews and Marvin Jones are all solid options that should not be overpriced. It would give the Eagles a go-to talent while Agholor continues to develop. 

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