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.