San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is now Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews.
Mathews is heading to the NFC East for three years and $11.5 million. Ryan joins another former Charger, Darren Sproles, in the Eagles backfield.
The 12th pick in the 2010 draft, Mathews has played five seasons with the Chargers. However, in those five years Mathews has missed 20 games due to a myriad of injuries, literally from head (concussions) to foot (ankle). He's also broken collarbones and strained knee ligaments, leading to serious questions about his durability.
That's what makes landing in Philadelphia so intriguing. The Eagles traded their star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills last week and are looking for a replacement. McCoy, along with several other veteran players, has been outspoken about Philly coach Chip Kelly's long, up-tempo practices and the toll they can take on a player's body.
That would not seem to be a good fit for a man who's missed 25-percent of his team's games because he's hurt.
The other part is the mentality of the Philadelphia sports fan. NBC 7 Sportswrap lead reporter Derek Togerson used to work in the City of Brotherly Love. He offers this analysis:
"It sounds like a cliche, but Philly fans have the mentality of Rocky Balboa. They're the underdogs. Sports fans there love the hard-working, grind-out-out brawlers even more than the superstars. I am not kidding when I say this, and it still shocks me to this day, but in Philly, Larry Bowa will always be more popular than Mike Schmidt. Moses Malone will always be more popular than Julius Erving. If you fill that tough mold they'll love you. If you're not, well ... ask Scott Rolen and Eric Lindros how fast they'll run you out of town.
"I like Ryan Mathews a lot. He's a good, hard-working kid. But was frustrating Chargers fans, a relatively patient group, with his injury woes. If those continue with Philadelphia, that fan base will turn on him in a hurry, and it's almost impossible to win them back."