Last Friday, we heard that the Dolphins had reached out to free agent wide receiver Rishard Matthews about a possible new deal. The news was somewhat surprising, since Matthews had long been considered a lock to leave Miami in search of a team that would give him an opportunity for more playing time.
According to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link), it looks like that’s still the case. Getlin reports that Matthews is “very likely” to reach the open market, adding that the market for the wideout “will be hot.” Matthews set new career highs in 2015 with 43 receptions, 662 yards, and four touchdowns, and while those numbers are relatively modest, they were compiled in just 11 games. Considering how weak this year’s free agent class of receivers is, there may very well be teams that view Matthews as a viable No. 2 option, and Miami almost certainly can’t afford to pay him like a No. 2.
Here are a few more updates on current free agent or free-agent-to-be from around the NFL:
- Some rival teams are doubtful that Sam Bradford will become an unrestricted free agent on March 9th, believing that he may re-sign with the Eagles before then, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Cole adds that if Bradford does hit the open market, he might not receive the kind of lucrative long-term offers he’d expect, making a one-year, prove-it deal a possibility. I’m somewhat skeptical about that — I think Bradford’s second-half performance would ensure that at least one or two teams are willing to invest heavily in him.
- The Cardinals are not interested in bringing Antonio Cromartie back to Arizona, tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Cromartie spent a season with the team in 2014, earning a Pro Bowl spot, but the Cards were willing to let him walk in free agency, and don’t appear eager to pursue him now that he’s back on the market.
- Safety Reggie Nelson saw his 2015 season come to an end when he left the Bengals‘ Wild Card loss with a sprained ankle, and he doesn’t want that to be his last play with the team. “Most definitely not,” Nelson said recently, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “They know that. Everybody knows that. I would love to be a Bengal.” According to Hobson, the Bengals aren’t expected to strike deals with their free agents at this week’s combine, but the club figures to discuss possible parameters for Nelson and others.