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Browns’ Rashard Higgins Wants Extension

Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins could receive some significant interest on the open market this offseason, but the young wideout is making it clear he wants to stay in Cleveland. “I want to be in Cleveland, no other team. Tell (John) Dorsey, Tell Lonzo (Alonso Highsmith) to get it done”, Higgins said this week at the Super Bowl, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Dorsey, the Browns’ GM, said last week that the team had talked to Higgins’ representatives about a new contract, and it sounds like the interest is definitely mutual. Higgins is only scheduled to be a restricted free agent anyway so the Browns could match any offer he receives from another team, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll get to that point.

Higgins’ agent Michael Swensen told Kay Cabot “we’re getting there”, meaning a deal could be close. The Browns drafted Higgins in the fifth round out of Colorado State back in 2016. They cut him before the 2017 season, but quickly re-signed him. He didn’t do much as a rookie, but showed signs of progress last season before breaking out in 2018.

This past year he caught 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns in only 13 games, and showed a nice rapport with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. With Jarvis Landry entrenched in the slot, Higgins should have an opportunity to start outside next year. Higgins sounded excited to help turn around the Browns, raving about Mayfield, new coach Freddie Kitchens, and the organization in his comments to Kay Cabot. At this point it would be surprising if he’s not locked up by the time free agency rolls around in March.

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Browns Discussing Deals With Rashard Higgins, Breshad Perriman, Greg Robinson

The Browns signed former first-round picks Greg Robinson and Breshad Perriman on low-cost, one-year deals in 2018. They are interested in longer-term partnerships.

John Dorsey said (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com) discussions with both players’ representatives are ongoing, along with RFA-to-be Rashard Higgins.

Robinson said recently he wants to stay in Cleveland. The former No. 2 overall pick has not come close to living up to that draft slot but did start the final eight Browns games at left tackle, replacing rookie UDFA Desmond Harrison in the team’s first post-Joe Thomas season. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson as its No. 63 tackle (out of 80 full-time qualifiers) this season.

Sometimes you have to be a little patient with guys like that. You have to earn their trust,” Dorsey said of Robinson. “He did everything he was asked and everything we thought he would since we signed him in late June.”

Added after a dismal Ravens stay, Perriman averaged 21.3 yards per catch with the Browns. Two of his 16 receptions went for touchdowns. While Perriman’s stock is nowhere near what it was coming into the league, the oft-injured wideout played well down the stretch with Cleveland. He recorded two two-catch, 75-plus-yard games in the Browns’ final four contests. If retained, Perriman would fit in as an auxiliary weapon alongside Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway.

Although Higgins was a Sashi Brown-era investment, he may figure into Dorsey’s plans — either on a tender or longer-term pact. The former fifth-round pick enjoyed his most productive season in 2018, hauling in 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. While Higgins was the Browns’ fourth-leading receiver, each of those figures represented career-high marks.

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Jets Move Rishard Matthews To IR

Rishard Matthews‘ rough 2018 season will conclude early. The Jets placed the veteran wide receiver on IR on Tuesday.

This ends what has been been the most disappointing campaign of Matthews’ career. The former Dolphins and Titans starter will wrap up his seventh NFL season with just five receptions for 24 yards.

No longer attached to his Titans extension, with Tennessee having released him and Gang Green then signing him for the league minimum, Matthews will be a free agent at season’s end.

Going into this season, Matthews had been the Titans’ No. 1 wideout for two years and enjoyed a solid contract year with the Dolphins to earn him that Tennessee deal. He signed a one-year Tennessee extension in August. A knee surgery this offseason looks to have damaged Matthews’ value.

The former seventh-round pick stands to enter the market in March at 29 and hoping a team will view him as a bounce-back candidate. In 2017, Matthews caught 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns.

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NFL Suspends Jets’ Rashard Robinson

Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He’ll be eligible to return to the active roster on October 1 after the team’s Week 4 contest against the Jaguars. In the interim, he’ll be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games.

The Jets acquired Robinson in a pre-deadline trade in 2017, giving up a 2018 fifth-round choice in exchange for the former fourth-round pick. Robinson appeared in six games but recorded just two tackles.

Robinson’s suspension stems from a December incident in which he was pulled over by cops and found to have marijuana-laced candy in his possession. Apparently, that was not the cornerback’s first instance of off-the-field trouble. The 23-year-old reportedly also had an “embarrassing and troubling incident” on a Niners team flight in 2017. He had words with SF coaches in the midst of that outburst, and that prompted the team to ship him to New Jersey.

Robinson’s first game with the Jets in 2018 – if he sticks on the roster – will be against the Broncos on October 7.

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Jets CB Rashard Robinson Facing Charges

Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson was charged with drug possession following a December arrest, as Manish Mehta of the Daily News writes. Robinson no-showed his court date on Monday, Darryl Slater of NJ.com hears, and he is now scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Jan 29. If he does not show up at the end of the month, an arrest warrant will be issued. Rashard Robinson (vertical)

The Jets acquired Robinson in a pre-deadline trade this year, giving up a 2018 fifth-round choice in exchange for the former fourth-round pick. Robinson appeared in six games but recorded just two tackles.

Police say that they found a marijuana-laced candy in Robinson’s possession after pulling him over for careless driving. Apparently, this is not the cornerback’s first off-the-field incident. Mehta hears that the 22-year-old (23 in July) had an “embarrassing and troubling incident” on a Niners team flight in 2017. He also had words with SF coaches, an outburst that prompted the team to ship him east.

Mike Maccagnan‘s Jets have rolled the dice on players with iffy track records in the past, but they might not have patience with Robinson given his lack of on-field performance.

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Eagles Sign Jordan Matthews

The Eagles reunited with wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to a team announcement. To make room, the Eagles have placed veteran Mike Wallace on IR. 

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Start In Week 3]

Matthews worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday – his first audition since the Patriots released him in August. Although he was not productive with Buffalo last year, the Eagles have seen what Matthews can do when he is fully healthy and in the right system. He enjoyed three 800-plus-yard seasons with Philly, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — under Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles receivers.

Wallace, meanwhile, suffered a broken fibula last week. The injury is not necessarily a season-ender, so he could be a candidate to return from IR in eight weeks or more.

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Rashard Mendenhall Retires

Free agent running back Rashard Mendenhall is retiring, reports ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Mendenhall, 26, spent his first five seasons with the Steelers, then started 13 games last year for the Cardinals, rushing for 687 yards and eight touchdowns.

A first-round draft pick from Illinois in 2008, Mendenhall totaled 4,236 yards and 39 touchdowns in his six-year career. He surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Mendenhall hinted at retirement in a February 25 column for Huffington Post: “And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.”

PFR’s Luke Adams ranked Mendenhall in the second tier of free agent running backs.

Rishard Matthews Hires Drew Rosenhaus

Free agent wide receiver Rishard Matthews hired Drew Rosenhaus to help him find a new team, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Until now, the former Titan was serving as his own representative. 

After Matthews requested his release from the Titans, there may be a perception that he quit on his team, so it behooves him to partner with a power agent such as Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus claims that multiple teams are showing interest in his client and he says a deal could be just around the corner.

“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years,” Matthews said of the Titans. “Then all of a sudden I’m barely playing and not even starting. Using my injury as the scapegoat. Look at number of snaps and targets.”

It has been speculated that receiver-needy teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, Bills, Seahawks, and Cardinals would be logical destinations for Matthews. The Bills may be his most likely landing spot due to his relationship with Bills wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie, but it’s not clear whether they’re in the mix at this time.

Matthews recorded 945 receiving yards in his first year with Tennessee and had nearly 800 yards last season. In three games this year, however, Matthews had just three catches off of six targets.

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Latest On WR Jordan Matthews

The injury settlement for Jordan Matthews with the Patriots carries no cap amount associated with it, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. That may be an indication he’ll be healthy in time for the start of the regular season. 

The Patriots released Matthews after he tweaked his hamstring in practice. Given his potential, it was speculated that Matthews’ injury was rather serious, but that might not be the case at all. After being officially released from IR on Tuesday, Matthews is free to sign with any club, and it might not be long before he can actually audition for teams.

Dez Bryant is the free agent wide receiver everyone is talking about, but Matthews is four years younger and arguably has more upside. Once healthy, Matthews could hold appeal for teams like the Browns who are looking to shore up their depth at wide receiver.

Injuries limited Matthews to ten games and just 282 yards last year, but he’s not far removed from impressive production with the Eagles. Matthews nearly hit 1,000 yards receiving in 2015 and had a respectable 73/804/3 line in 2016.

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Titans Release WR Rishard Matthews

As expected, the Titans announced their intention to release Rishard Matthews. The wide receiver asked the team to cut him on this week and the Titans obliged after being unable to find a suitable trade for him. 

The Titans’ passing offense has struggled this year, in part because the injury to Marcus Mariota that forced Blaine Gabbert into action. Matthews, meanwhile, was upset about his limited role and wants to join a club that will utilize him more.

“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years,” Matthews said. “Then all of a sudden I’m barely playing and not even starting. Using my injury as the scapegoat. Look at number of snaps and targets.”

As Field Yates of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter), receiver-needy teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, Bills, Seahawks, and Cardinals would all make sense for Matthews. The Bills, in particular, could be a likely landing spot for the veteran. Bills wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie was Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, so he knows what Matthews can do when he’s at his best.

Matthews had something of a breakout season with the Dolphins in 2015 and parlayed that into a free agent deal with the Titans in 2016. Matthews responded by amassing 945 receiving yards in his first year with Tennessee and had nearly 800 yards last season. In three games this year, Matthews had just three catches off of six targets.

After releasing Matthews, the Titans are left with five wide receivers on the roster – Corey Davis, Tajae Sharpe, Taywan Taylor, Darius Jennings, and Nick Williams. Davis leads the team with 13 catches for 151 yards through three weeks.

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Jets To Sign WR Rishard Matthews

Former Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews is signing with the Jets, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Matthews requested and received his release in late September, making him a free agent

Matthews had nearly 800 receiving yards last season, but he spent nearly one month on the free agent market before agreeing to join the Jets. Matthews’ extended unemployment may be connected to a perception that he quit on the Titans, concern over his lack of targets early in the year, or a mix of both. In three games with the Titans this year, Matthews had just three grabs off of six targets.

“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years,” Matthews said. “Then all of a sudden I’m barely playing and not even starting. Using my injury as the scapegoat. Look at number of snaps and targets.”

He now joins the Jets, whose receiver depth has been decimated by injuries. The Jets recently cut ties with offseason pickup Terrelle Pryor due to health issues and top receiver Quincy Enunwa is expected to miss multiple games with a high ankle sprain.

Matthews will have to quickly pick up the playbook, but he should rank no lower than third on the depth chart behind Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse once he learns the offense. After all, he’s not far removed from a 2016 season in which he caught 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns.

If he’s on the active roster, Matthews’ Jets debut could come against the Bears on Sunday.

Browns Unlikely To Sign Bryant, Matthews?

On Monday, the Browns learned that wide receiver Rashard Higgins will miss 2-4 weeks of action with a sprained MCL. Rishard Matthews will work out for the team today and could theoretically help to fill the void, but coach Hue Jackson says the Browns are inclined to stick with their current options.

We’ll see. I mean, I haven’t seen [GM] John [Dorsey] since I was down there earlier. But we’ll see how it unfolds. We have some good candidates here, and I like our guys that are here. So we’ll just see how it all unfolds as we go through the day,” Jackson said. “I feel like [backup receivers Rod Streater, Derrick Willies, and sixth-round rookie Damion Ratley] know our system, know exactly what we’re looking for and know how to come in and practice the way we do and understand what the opportunity would be for them, not that I wouldn’t like somebody else who could really play. But it’s just hard to find those kind of guys at this time, guys that can come in and really contribute right away just ’cause they haven’t practiced with you, don’t know the system. Guys that you have to get caught up to speed, sometimes it just doesn’t work out as well.”

Free agent receiver Dez Bryant, who was in talks with the Browns earlier this year, may face longer odds of joining the club. When asked about the ex-Cowboys star, Jackson said that he hasn’t discussed the possibility with Dorsey recently.

The Browns thinned out their receiver corps in September by trading Josh Gordon to the Patriots, but Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Higgins have been keeping the passing offense afloat. Even without Higgins, it sounds like the Browns are comfortable with the players they already have.

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Jets To Work Out Rishard Matthews

The Jets will work out former Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews on Tuesday, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Jets are in need of help at wide receiver with injuries to Quincy Enunwa (ankle), Terrelle Pryor (groin), and Charone Peake (hamstring) and have just three healthy receivers on the roster. 

Matthews, 29, played in three games with the Titans this year before requesting – and receiving- his release. Matthews was unhappy with his playing time in Tennessee, but he could find a sizable role with the Jets for at least a few weeks.

Matthews recently hired Drew Rosenhaus with the hope that the agent could improve the league’s perception of the receiver while steering him to a club that will use him appropriately. Nearly three weeks later, the veteran is still searching for an opportunity.

Of course, Matthews’ play on the field hasn’t helped his free agent status. The former seventh-round pick was only targeted six times in three games, hauling in three receptions for 11 yards. He also had four punt returns for 38 yards. Still, he’s not far removed from a 2016 campaign where he compiled 945 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, so his next gig shouldn’t be far off and could very well come with the Jets.

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Jordan Matthews Works Out For Eagles

A reunion between Jordan Matthews and the Eagles may not be imminent, but the defending Super Bowl champions are considering the possibility.

The veteran wide receiver worked out for the Eagles on Tuesday, Eagles insider Geoff Mosher reports (on Twitter). He was the only player to audition for the Eagles today, per Mosher.

This is Matthews’ first known workout since the Patriots released him early last month. He has not been the same since being traded from the Eagles to the Bills just prior to last season. Matthews’ Buffalo contract year helped cool off his free agent market, the formerly productive Philadelphia slot player catching just 25 passes for 282 yards. He settled for a low-end Patriots contract.

Matthews amassed three 800-plus-yard seasons with the Eagles, two in Chip Kelly’s offense and the third — a 73-reception, 804-yard campaign in 2016 — with Doug Pederson. His totals in 2016 were a close second to Zach Ertz among Eagles.

Philly’s experienced trouble at wideout this season. Mike Wallace is dealing with a fractured fibula, per ESPN.com’s Tim McManus (Twitter link), Mack Hollins is on IR and Alshon Jeffery remains week-to-week. They may be looking to add a proven talent here, and Matthews certainly has familiarity with Pederson’s system.

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49ers Trade CB Rashard Robinson To Jets

The 49ers made their second deadline deal in two days, this time agreeing to send cornerback Rashard Robinson to the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Jets gave the Niners a 2018 fifth-round pick in exchange, a source tells Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Rashard Robinson (vertical)

Robinson, a fourth-round pick last year, has started seven games for San Francisco this season. The Jets are hurting in the secondary presently, but the 22-year-old corner is under contract through the 2019 season. So, this represents a possible long-term piece for Gang Green.

The LSU product has started 13 games over the past two seasons. He’s deflected eight passes, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass during his sophomore NFL campaign. Robinson, though, ranks among Pro Football Focus’ worst-graded corners this season. This could be a short-term depth addition and a long-term developmental project.

New York is currently dealing with injuries to Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine, making this an interesting way to go about patching up a secondary.

Titans, Matthews Agree To Extension

The Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews have agreed to an unusual extension. Matthews now has a team option tacked onto his deal for 2019 with a base value of $7.75MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Matthews fired his agent and negotiated the deal himself, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That would explain this arrangement, which is unusual to say the least. It’s not clear what the wide receiver is getting in exchange for giving up his right to enter the free agent market next year, especially since there is no guaranteed money in the deal.

Prior to the extension, Matthews was set to enter the final year of a three-year free agent deal signed in 2016. He’ll make $5MM in the final year of that original contract.

Matthews led all Titans receivers last season with 795 yards off of 53 receptions and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, he has been unable to practice this summer due to an undisclosed injury. If he can get back in time for the opener, he’ll be a part of an intriguing Titans receiving group.

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Titans Activate WR Rishard Matthews

The Titans have activated receiver Rishard Matthews from the physically unable to perform list and placed fellow pass-catcher Michael Campanaro on injured reserve, the club announced today.

Matthews reportedly underwent a meniscus operation earlier this month, but was expected to be removed from Tennessee’s PUP list at some point this week. The 28-year-old agreed to an odd one-year extension last week, a self-negotiated deal that will tack on what is essentially a 2019 option onto his current pact. Matthews can earn $7.75MM next season, but there’s no guaranteed money associated with that year.

In 2017 (his second season with the Titans), Matthews posted 53 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns, all of which were tops among Tennessee’s receivers. This year, Matthews is projected to start alongside 2017 first-rounder Corey Davis, while another 2017 rookie — third-round pick Taywan Taylor — should enter in three-wideout looks.

Campanaro, meanwhile, inked a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal with the Titans in April, but rarely participated in either camp or Tennessee’s preseason contests. Primarily a return man, Campanaro could conceivably be released from injured reserve in the coming weeks if he works out a settlement with the Titans.

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Titans Unlikely To Trade Rishard Matthews

On Wednesday night, wide receiver Rishard Matthews asked the Titans for his release. The transaction has yet to be processed, but it’s “doubtful” that the team will find a trade partner for him, Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky hears (on Twitter). 

Presumably, then, it’s a matter of time before Matthews’ request for a release is granted. Once he’s cut, Matthews will be free to sign with any club of his choosing since he is a vested veteran.

Matthews surely has his reasons for wanting out of Tennessee, but the perception around the league may be that he quit on his team. With that in mind, it’s hard to see another team giving up a draft pick, even a late one, to add Matthews in the middle of the season. Instead, interested clubs are likely willing to wait things out and try to sign the receiver to a cheap one-year deal.

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Latest On Free Agent WR Rishard Matthews

Free agent wide receiver Rishard Matthews is hoping to play again this season, but he is aware that he may not be able to land a contract, as he tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

“I will be ready for whatever team is willing to believe that I am a team player and [a] hard worker,” said Matthews. “As you know, I protested during the Anthem a year ago. I haven’t in 2018 and don’t plan to do so. Also, I feel my previous team is not giving me a good rep even though they were willing to sign me to an extension. The hope is I can (play this season). If not, I’ll be better than I have ever been and ready for next season.”

Matthews requested, and was granted, his release from the Titans in late September after complaining about his lack of targets. Matthews had appeared in three games for the Titans, but was tied for sixth in targets with tight end Luke Stocker and fellow receiver Tajae Sharpe. He’d played exactly 50% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps, which ranked him third among Titans wideouts behind Corey Davis and Sharpe. The 28-year-old had produced just three receptions for 11 yards on six targets.

Matthews, who self-negotiated a widely panned extension earlier this year, has since hired agent Drew Rosenhaus to help him find a new deal. Over the past two weeks, Matthews has worked out for the Browns, Cardinals, and Jets, but has yet to garner a pact.

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Browns, Cardinals To Work Out WR Rishard Matthews

More than a week after being released by the Titans, Rishard Matthews has his first workouts. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the wideout is set to audition for the Browns on Monday and the Cardinals on Tuesday.

The wideout asked for (and was granted) his release from the Titans in late September. Since then, Matthews hadn’t generated much interest, but he did hire agent Drew Rosenhaus earlier this week. The 28-year-old was previously representing himself, and as our own Zach Links pointed out, it was essential for Matthews to team with a powerful agent to move past the perception that he quit on Tennessee.

Of course, Matthews’ play on the field hasn’t helped his free agent status, either. The former seventh-round pick was only targeted six times in three games, hauling in three receptions for 11 yards. He also had four punt returns for 38 yards. Of course, he’s not even two years removed from a 2016 campaign where he compiled 945 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

The Cardinals had previously been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Mathews, along with the Cowboys, Patriots, Bills, and Seahawks. Arizona has 616 receiving yards through four games, the worst mark in the NFL. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk have combined for 290 of those yards, and Mathews could logically slide in ahead of Chad WilliamsJJ Nelson, and Trent Sherfield on the depth chart.

The Browns’ receiving corps hasn’t been nearly as dismal as the Cardinals’ grouping, although it still hasn’t been all that inspiring. Jarvis Landry is slotted in atop the depth chart, but neither Antonio Callaway not Rashard Higgins have emerged as a consistent number-two option. Matthews could provide some competition for that grouping. At the very least, he could slot in ahead of Derrick Willies, Rod Streater, and Damion Ratley.

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