The Eagles will have one less receiver to game plan for on Sunday against the Titans, with news that Rishard Matthews asked the team for his release on Wednesday night, citing a lack of play time and targets. The team is officially granting his request to be released contemplating whether they could make a trade instead.
“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years,” Matthews continued, according to A to Z Sports Nashville. “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.”
Perhaps making the decision even more surprising, was Matthews having signed a contract extension just before training camp through 2019.
Sources: the Titans and WR Rishard Matthews have agreed to a one-year extension through 2019. It's a team option with a base value of $7.75M for the 2019 season.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 21, 2018
Tennessee was reportedly weighing their options between trying to find a trade for the receiver or releasing him outright — they ultimately ended up doing the latter. Further complicating their decision was whether or not the Eagles would be interested in signing Matthews just a couple days before their matchup.
The Eagles added Jordan Matthews to their receiving corps just last week, and Alshon Jeffery was finally medically cleared for contact, but Doug Pederson was unsure yet if he’d be ready to go on Sunday. Whether the team wants to add some more help at the position is unknown to people outside those front office meetings.
Rishard Matthews missed most of OTAs with an Achilles injury and then most of training camp with a torn meniscus. He was back in time to start the regular season, but in three games had only six targets, resulting in three catches for 11 total yards.
The receiver was expected to see an uptick in opportunities in the upcoming games with Marcus Mariota back as the starter and injuries to Delanie Walker and Adoree’ Jackson.
Now with Matthews just waiting for his walking papers to be finalized, the Eagles won’t have to face the Titans’ former No. 1 receiver. Instead, the Philadelphia defense will need to shift their focus to Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe.
It doesn’t appear that Matthews regrets his decision, after posting on Instagram that he’s open to playing for another team, but fine with hanging out at home with his family.