The New England Patriots replaced Danny Amendola, well sort of.
New England signed free agent wide receiver Jordan Matthews who comes to the Patriots to simply grow as a player.
Probably the biggest reason was I knew this was the best opportunity for me to grow as a player. I had some other teams that contacted me that I visited. I knew just as a player and as a man I’m recently married. Iâm about to have my first child. I don’t feel like Iâm called to be comfortable and I knew this would be great place for me to grow, not only as a player, but as a man in general. Iâm looking forward to getting to know the guys and really getting to work this whole offseason.
Matthews has not met with Patriots QB Tom Brady yet, but he is excited about playing with Brady.
It’s cool. It’s something I’m really excited about. I always joke with a lot of my quarterbacks that I’ve had from every nationality. I had a black quarterback in Tyrod [Taylor]. I had a Native American in Sam Bradford. Who else? I always tell Carson [Wentz] You’re the ginger of the group.â Itâs crazy, and then I visited the Titans and [Marcus] Mariota is Hawaiian. It was crazy; I met so many. I guess that shows you where the league is going. In all seriousness, itâs an honor to be able to play in an offense like this, in general, ran by Coach [Josh] McDaniels and then have a quarterback like Tom to be able to learn from and get better with. I think thatâs something that any wide receiver should be excited about.
Matthews is sort of an interesting story since he is actually related to NFL legend Jerry Rice. As for if he still talks with Rice he does but as for getting anything out of it Matthews has already collected all the secrets he could have possibly gained when he was younger.
Yeah, I talked to Jerry more when I was coming out as far as like I’m like 20, 21. I was wet behind the ears, didn’t really know anything, so I really wanted some advice coming into the league. But, I mean at this point, it’s just like OK, I’m almost 26. You canât be a grown man calling a grown man every other day. So, if anything, it’s just like, Hey, how are you doing? here and there, but it’s nothing more than that.
Playing in New England can certainly be a tall task with the weather being vicious at times, but that shouldn’t be a problem with Matthews since he played in Gillette Before as a member of Vanderbilt playing UMASS. Matthews has one fond memory of his game at Gillette and recalls it as “dirty”.
Bro, I jumped over somebody. It was dirty. Dirty. I got him bad. Yeah, we were playing UMass. It was crazy because we almost got beat that game. Coach [James] Franklin, he was like big on if we didn’t win, we couldn’t go out and hang out that night. I mean, we were Vanderbilt, so we weren’t going out a lot, you know what I mean? So it wasn’t too good at first, and then we started winning in the latter part of James Franklin’s career there. But I guess we played UMass early in the day. So, we had all these young freshmen that we were trusted to play, all these sophomores that we needed to come up big for us, and it was an early game. So we were like, Oh, we’re going to win this game versus UMass, and weâre going to be able to fly back. It’s going to be like 3 o; clock, because y’all are Eastern time and we’re going to have a great time at Vanderbilt. We almost lost. It was like halftime and it was tied up. I’m like, Guys, y’all are tripping. So, we came out, I jumped over a dude, we won and it was great.
The most important question though is what role will Matthews play. He says he is comfortble playing anywhere including the slot.
I feel comfortable anywhere, honestly. When I came into the league it was a situation where we had two guys that were very experienced on the outside in Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, so Coach [Chip] Kelly really wanted me inside just to learn and to kind of help guys get situated, so that was a place where I had a lot of production early on so itâs kind of where I got put for the rest of the time, but I’m confident in both areas. Whatever the team wants to use me at, I’m comfortable with.
Matthews will be joined in the Patriots receiving corps by Jullian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, Cody Hollister, Riley McCarron, Cordarrelle Patterson, and special teams captain Matthew Slater.