Ricardo Mathews

49ers Host DL Ricardo Mathews

Free agent defensive lineman Ricardo Mathews worked out for the 49ers today, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. San Francisco auditioned three free agent defensive lineman today, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Mathews and fellow veteran Tyson Jackson represent two of those visits, but the identity of the third player isn’t yet known."<strong

This is the second time Mathews has met with the 49ers this offseason, per Rapoport, and those visits constitute the only known interest Mathews has generated since free agency opened in the spring. The 30-year-old Mathews appeared in all 16 games a season ago — the fourth time he’s done so in his seven-year career — and played on 29.7% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps. While not an interior pass-rusher (Mathews managed just one sack and 5.5 pressures in 2016), he’s a serviceable defender against the run.

San Francisco ranked 31st in run defense DVOA last year, so while the club can clearly use the help up front, it’s not clear the 49ers have room for yet another defensive lineman. Just this offseason, the Niners have added third overall draft pick Solomon Thomas and free agent signing Earl Mitchell to their front four, a group that already included Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Quinton Dial, Chris Jones, Aaron Lynch, and others.

If the 49ers do sign Mathews (or Jackson), they’ll almost assuredly do so on a one-year, minimum salary benefit contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Sign Ricardo Mathews

The Steelers have added some depth to their defensive line, signing Ricardo Mathews to a contract, the team announced today in a press release.Ricardo Mathews

Matthews, 28, joined the Colts as a seventh-round pick in 2010, and primarily served as a backup during his four years in Indianapolis. During the past two seasons, Matthews has started nine games for the Chargers, picking up a total of 43 tackles and 2.5 sacks in his two years with the club.

Although he earned a career-high seven starts for San Diego in 2015, Pro Football Focus viewed Mathews as one of the NFL’s least effective defensive linemen in 2015, ranking him 121st out of 123 qualified interior defenders.

Mathews is unlikely to play a significant role up front for the Steelers, but he could be a valuable depth piece for a club that lost Steve McLendon in free agency and no longer has Cam Thomas under contract. The fact that Mathews is making the transition from another 3-4 defense is also a positive sign for Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Re-Sign Ricardo Mathews

The Chargers and defensive lineman Ricardo Mathews have agreed to a one-year contract, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. Financial terms of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

A seventh-round pick in 2010, Mathews spent the first four seasons of his career as a Colt and latched on with the Chargers in 2014. The 27-year-old made 21 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 12 games – which earned him a 19th-place ranking out of 46 qualifying 3-4 defensive ends at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) – and obviously impressed Chargers brass enough to merit another deal.

Chargers Sign Ricardo Mathews

The Chargers have made a pair of minor moves to their 53-man roster today, announcing in a press release that they’ve cut running back Marion Grice and used the newly-opened spot to sign defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews. San Diego GM Tom Telesco has some history with Mathews, who was drafted back in 2010 by Indianapolis when Telesco was part of the Colts’ organization.

Although he only started six games for the Colts during his four years with the club, Mathews was a major contributor on the team’s defensive line over the last three seasons, appearing in more than 1,300 defensive snaps during that stretch. The 26-year-old set a career-high in 2013 with 23 tackles, though Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded him as below average against both the run and pass.

Mathews signed with the Texans as a free agent in April, but was released this weekend as the team cut its roster down to 53 players.

Texans Trim Roster To 53 Players

In addition to confirming the eight players reported to be roster casualties yesterday, the Texans also announced 14 more roster moves today, bringing their roster down to 53 players in advance of this afternoon’s deadline. Here are the players removed from Houston’s active roster today:

The team has also removed Paul Hazel from its injured reserve list with a settlement.

Texans Sign Ricardo Mathews

9:20pm: Mathews’ deal is worth the $730K minimum, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

3:33pm: The Texans have poached a free agent defensive lineman from a division rival, signing Ricardo Mathews to a contract, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Mathews spent the first four seasons of his career with the Colts after Indianapolis selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 draft.

Although he only started six games for the Colts during his four years with the club, Mathews was a major contributor on the team’s defensive line over the last three seasons, appearing in more than 1,300 defensive snaps during that stretch. The 26-year-old set a career-high in 2013 with 23 tackles, though Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded him as below average against both the run and pass.

Mathews will add some depth to a defensive line that lost several pieces in free agency this offseason, including Earl Mitchell, Antonio Smith, and Terrell McClain.

AFC South Notes: Manziel, Jaguars, Robinson

In an interview with Chris Russo on SiriusXM earlier today, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was complimentary of several top draft prospects, including the controversial Johnny Manziel, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes. “You know me — I love spirit. We drafted guys last year like Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson and Jonathan Cyprien, guys who have a lot of energy and spirit,” Bradley said. “And when I went to see Johnny work out and watched his tape, he plays with that same sense of spirit and he showed it off at his Pro Day. To talk to him and visit with him one-on-one, he’s very passionate about the game, very competitive and very unique.

  • The Texans, who continue to consider all possible options for the No. 1 pick, will host Auburn tackle Greg Robinson for a pre-draft visit next week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (via Twitter). We mentioned Robinson as an outside possibility for Houston when we asked this morning what the team should do with the first overall pick.
  • Washington State safety Deone Bucannon visited the Colts for the past two days and began a two-day visit with the Patriots today, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. After that, it’s the Eagles, Jets, and Giants for the hard-hitting All-American.
  • Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens is set to visit the Jaguars, tweets O’Halloran. Aikens visited with the Bills late last week.
  • The Texans are referring to the newly-signed Ricardo Mathews as a nose tackle and not a defensive end, notes James Palmer of CSNHouston.com (via Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.