Running back Ryan Matthews inked a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday for a reported $11.5 million with $5 million being guaranteed money, according to Adam Schefter.
Matthews, a now-former San Diego Charger, will head to his new team in the hopes of staying healthy and on the field, where he poses a serious threat. Matthews, an injury prone running back, will have the odds stacked against him, however, as Ryan has only started 14 games twice in his career.
During 2011 and 2013, Ryan rushed for 2,346 yards with 12 touchdowns and a trip to the Pro Bowl, but an injury-filled 2014 proved to be Matthews’ downfall.
Before signing Matthews, Chip Kelly was originally eyeing Frank Gore for the job, but he joined the Indianapolis Colts instead.
The team also landed DeMarco Murray, the NFL rushing leader, along with Darren Sproles and Chris Polk, making for a rather overcrowded Eagle backfield.
DeMarco, who rushed 1,845 yards in 2014, signed a reported $42 million deal with the Eagles, with a guaranteed $21 million, according to the Inquisitr.
The Eagle’s acquisition of Murray means Ryan probably won’t have a full-time starting job with the team although that might benefit Matthews career in the long run, according to Bleacher Report.
A No. 12 draft pick for San Diego in 2010, Matthews is a talented running back but has been beset by injuries.
San Diego GM Tom Telesco commented on Ryan’s abilities last month in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Ryan is a talented football player. And as everyone can probably see, we’re a different team with him on the field, with his speed and physicality and his talent level.”
The problem is keeping Matthews healthy.
Ryan rushed for 1,255 yards for the San Diego Chargers in 2013, but totaled only 74 carries in eight games last season because of an MCL and ankle injury, according to Sports Illustrated.
In 2014, Ryan was sidelined in four consecutive games because of injuries.
With the crowded Eagle backfield, it should be easy for the team to keep Matthews healthy and on the field where he could easily pose a 1,000 yard threat.
Ryan Matthews, a 27-year-old running back, is a free agent for the first time in his career and could really use a healthy season to win back some good will and resume his standing in the league.
Mathews told NJ.com he was looking forward to his new spot on a new team.
“It’s going to be great, I think this backfield will be special. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. I’m looking forward to starting over here.”