Missing the past four games, Matthews entered Miami’s Week 17 clash with the Patriots with a questionable designation. However, the team shelved the 26-year-old free agent-to-be who has missed December after fracturing ribs against the Jets late last month.
Thought to be on the outside of the Dolphins’ receiver rotation after the team traded for Kenny Stills, signed Greg Jennings and drafted DeVante Parker, Matthews proved to be the team’s best outside target for most of the season.
The above moves prompted a disgruntled Matthews to demand a preseason relocation, but the 2012 seventh-rounder went on to have his best season. Matthews’ 662 yards and four touchdowns in 11 games represented notable progressions from his previous three years’ work.
As a result of his contract-year campaign that may have produced 1,000 yards if he’d stayed healthy and a thin receiver market, Matthews figures to draw steady attention this offseason.
Parker and Jarvis Landry are the Fins’ cornerstones at receiver, but beyond Alshon Jeffery, the upcoming free agency class of receivers lags far behind 2015’s. Travis Benjamin, Rueben Randle and Jermaine Kearse are among the top names out there.