Jordan Matthews

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. 

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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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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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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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Patriots Formally Release Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews is officially a free agent. The Patriots released the wide receiver from IR on Tuesday with an injury settlement, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Once Matthews is back to full health, he’ll be free to seek a new team. 

The severity of Matthews’ latest setback is unclear, so no one knows exactly when he’ll be able to audition for teams. It could be a matter of weeks or months before Matthews is able to consider offers.

Matthews is no stranger to the injury bug. He was limited to just ten games with the Bills last year and looked like a shell of his former self in those contests. He finished out with just 25 catches for 282 yards and one score in those games.

Before that down year with Buffalo, however, Matthews averaged 75 receptions for 891 yards and six touchdowns per season for the Eagles from 2014-16. Statistically, his best year came in 2015 when he had 85 grabs for 997 yards and eight touchdowns.

If the former second-round pick can get healthy, he could be an impact addition for another club this year. In the meantime, he’ll be alright financially thanks to the partial payout he received from the Patriots.

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Patriots Release WR Jordan Matthews

The Patriots announced that they’ve released wide receiver Jordan Matthews and signed fullback Henry Poggi. Although Field Yates of ESPN.com tweeted New England would placed Matthews on injured reserve, it appears the Patriots have simply cut the wideout.

The Pats signed Matthews to a one-year deal worth $1MM back in April. However, the pact was only partially guaranteed, so the Patriots won’t be left on the hook for much. Matthews collected on his $80K signing bonus, $130K offseason workout bonus, and $90K of his base salary, so he leaves New England with $300K altogether.

Matthews was also held back by injuries in 2017, so this is an unfortunate setback for the wide receiver. Prior to that, Matthews averaged 75 receptions for 891 yards and six touchdowns per season for the Eagles from 2014-16.

The release of Matthews leaves the Patriots a bit thin at wide receiver. They’ll be without Julian Edelman for the first four games of the season and the availability of Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell is in question as they deal with ailments of their own. These issues could help to explain the team’s recent interest in free agent Eric Decker.

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Patriots Notes: Brady, Belichick, Guerrero

It’s no secret that there is some tension among the three most prominent figures in the Patriots’ organization: owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes, one of the sources of conflict between Belichick and Brady is the role of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero.

Belichick, of course, wants one voice when it comes to his team’s strength and conditioning program, so he wants his players to adhere to programs established by head strength coach, Moses Cabrera, and head trainer, Jim Whalen. But by the middle of last season, approximately 30 of the Patriots’ 53 players were seeing Guerrero regularly, either in Gillette Stadium or at the TB12 facility at Patriot Place. Guerrero’s methods clash with the more traditional approaches set forth by Cabrera and Whalen, and Belichick revoked Guerrero’s special privileges after the bye week last season (although he did not ban players from seeing Guerrero).

We heard back in January that Guerrero’s presence was creating some problems in New England’s locker room, and Volin’s story provides some interesting context to those reports.

Now for more news out of Foxborough:

  • Kraft is not concerned about extending Brady’s contract, and Volin notes that there is no reason for the team to do so at this point. Brady is under club control through the 2019 campaign, and his cap number of $22MM is reasonable given his ability, importance to the franchise, and the quarterback market.
  • For the second consecutive year, Brady is unlikely to be present for the first day of the Patriots’ offseason program, per Volin, which is somewhat curious given that he has been a “devout offseason participant” in prior years. But as Brady’s absence is tied to his appearance as a Best Buddies Global Ambassador in Qatar, Volin is not putting much stock in it until Brady starts to miss more time. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Belichick “went out of his way” to hint that he and Brady have at least one talk in that regard. Belichick said, “[The offseason program] will be heavily attended, but I know there are a couple players that I’ve talked to that have other commitments, but that’s the way it always is. So, not really anything new there.”
  • Volin says the Pats do have the ammunition to move up in the draft to select one of this year’s top signal-callers if they want to, though it remains more likely that they will stand pat.
  • In the same piece linked above, Reiss reports that the Patriots have hired Cameron Achord as an assistant coach. Achord has ties to special teams coach Joe Judge, and he has already been on the scouting trail on behalf of the Patriots.
  • It was previously reported that Brady was a big reason for Jordan Matthews‘ decision to sign with the Patriots, but as Reiss notes, Matthews was impressed with the organization as a whole. Matthews said, “There was a lot of intentionality during the visit. They were very detailed. They were very specific with me on what they thought about me and areas they thought I could grow. I appreciated that more than anything. I appreciated that type of honesty.”
  • We learned yesterday that the Patriots did not come close to matching the two-year, $12MM deal that Danny Amendola signed with the Dolphins, which made Amendola’s decision to leave New England a little easier.

Contract Details: Patriots, Matthews, Eagles

Some details on recent free agent deals:

  • Jordan Matthews’ one-year deal with the Patriots is worth $1MM with $170K guaranteed, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets. The deal includes an $90K guaranteed, a modest $790K salary, and a $130K offseason workout bonus. Matthews was hampered by injuries in 2017, but prior to that, he had three strong seasons with the Eagles, so he could prove to be a major value signing for New England.
  • New Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers signed a one-year deal worth $880K with $245K fully guaranteed, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM tweets.
  • Joe Webb‘s one-year deal with the Texans is for the minimum salary, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. With his salary at the league’s floor, it could negate him as an unrestricted free agent loss for the Bills and hurt their chance at scoring a compensatory pick.

Contract Details: Meredith, Matthews, Smith

Here’s a look at the details of some recent free agent deals:

  • Cameron Meredith‘s two-year, $9.6MM Saints offer sheet can be worth up to $12.6MM, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. There are $5.4MM in total guarantees. The Bears have not determined if they will match or not.
  • Jordan Matthews‘ rough year with the Bills may have cost him. The former productive Eagles slot receiver signed with the Patriots for one year and $1MM, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. While $700K is available via incentives, this is a team-friendly deal — one that only includes $170K guaranteed.
  • Bennie Logan‘s Titans deal is for one year and worth $4MM in base value, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Incentives can escalate Logan’s haul to $5MM.
  • The ChargersGeno Smith contract is worth $1MM over one year, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. This comes with a $200K signing bonus.

Patriots Notes: Matthews, Mitchell, QBs

While Tom Brady may be a year-to-year proposition following the 2018 season, his timeline may not matter to Jordan Matthews since the receiver signed only a one-year deal with the Patriots. And the wideout factored the future Hall of Fame quarterback into his decision considerably. Matthews wanted to catch passes from Brady, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The reigning NFL MVP is still near the peak of his powers despite going into his age-41 season, and Matthews made a point to include two of the game’s premier quarterbacks in his free agency tour. Matthews visited the Packers and Patriots, with Titans and Cardinals stops being on his spring itinerary as well, but he will spend a year in New England. The fifth-year receiver has done his most prominent NFL work in the slot, but Julian Edelman is due back this season. Reiss reports Matthews had other offers. The Cardinals extended one to him before signing Brice Butler. Matthews faced the Patriots once last season while with the Bills but did his best work — three 800-plus-yard seasons — with the Eagles.

Here’s the latest out of New England:

  • Malcolm Mitchell also figures to be a part of Brady’s receiving corps in 2018 after missing all of his second season with a knee injury. He’s expected to be ready for OTAs, per Reiss, and has been working with Alex Guererro at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center.
  • Troy Niklas may not factor in prominently in Brady’s arsenal, having caught just 19 passes in four seasons and being known for his blocking more. But Reiss notes a knock on the former Cardinals tight end has been that his physicality doesn’t match up with what would be expected from a 6-foot-6, 270-pound player. Should he make the New England roster, it’s likely he’ll be asked to block plenty considering Rob Gronkowski is expected back.
  • The Patriots may be taking a flier on Luke Bowanko because of his versatility. Reiss writes Bowanko worked at all five offensive line spots in practice while with the Jaguars, and Bill Belichick values an assorted skill set. An interior lineman in games, Bowanko would seemingly be in line for a swing backup job if he were to make the 53-man roster.
  • Belichick’s history and the Patriots’ need for talent capable of helping the near-future rosters points to New England not pulling off a blockbuster trade for a quarterback, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston writes. Curran expects Brady to at least play out his through-2019 contract before evaluating if he wants to play what would be a 21st season in 2020. Although, Robert Kraft said the team needs to think about taking a quarterback this year since there is no longer a viable succession plan after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade.

Patriots To Sign WR Jordan Matthews

The Patriots are signing former Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews to a one-year deal, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Matthews had a down year due to injury, but Schefter hears that Matthews is now back to full health. 

Matthews met with the Patriots on Monday and left town without signing a deal. He met with the Titans later on in the week, but he has circled back to New England for a prove-it contract. Matthews also had a visit with the Packers in this free agency cycle and drew interest from the Cardinals.

From 2014-16, Matthews averaged 75 receptions for 891 yards and six touchdowns per season for the Eagles. He had just 25 catches for Buffalo last season, but he could be primed for big numbers once again in the Patriots’ potent offense. He’ll help the Pats in their bid to replace Danny Amendola‘s production, though he offers a decidedly different skill set.

The Patriots shook up their WR depth chart this week by trading No. 1 receiver Brandin Cooks to the Rams for a first-round pick. For now, the Pats’ WR group consists of Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, and Matthews. All of those players are solid in their own right, but the Pats will probably continue to evaluate high-potential receivers in this month’s draft.

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