Rishard Matthews

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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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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NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

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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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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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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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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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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Titans WR Rishard Matthews Requests Release

Wide receiver Rishard Matthews has requested his release from the Titans, as he tells Austin Stanley of A to Z Sports. Matthews says he and Tennessee have reached an agreement, although the club has yet to announce any transaction.

“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.”

Matthews has appeared in all three games for the Titans this season, but is tied for sixth in targets with tight end Luke Stocker and fellow receiver Tajae Sharpe. He’s played exactly 50% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps, which ranks him third among Titans wideouts behind Corey Davis and Sharpe. The 28-year-old has produced just three receptions for 11 yards on six targets.

Mathews agreed to an extension just over a month ago, a self-negotiated deal that was widely panned. the pact tacks on a one-year team option in 2019 that’s valued at $7.5MM, but the extra year doesn’t contain any guaranteed money. Matthews is earning a base salary of $5MM this season, and while that total should be guaranteed given that he made the Titans’ Week 1 roster as a vested veteran, Tennessee could look to negotiate that total down, as Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap tweets.

Despite his lackluster production in 2018, Matthews is indeed an accomplished receiver. He led the Titans in receiving yards in both 2016 and 2017, and he averaged 59 receptions, 870 yards, and 6.5 touchdowns during that time.

Matthews will presumably garner a good deal of free agent interest once he reaches the open market, and he’ll join a list of available pass-catchers that includes Dez Bryant, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt, and Jeremy Maclin, among others.

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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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