The Seahawks have waived wide receiver Chris Matthews, who has made hardly any impact since his breakout performance in last season’s Super Bowl.
Seattle announced the move on Tuesday. The team promoted former University of Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith from the practice squad to fill Matthews’ spot on the roster.
Matthews’ story is a reminder of how success can be fleeting in the NFL. He went undrafted in 2011, spent time in the Canadian Football League and had never caught a pass in his NFL career until he came out of nowhere to star in Super Bowl XLIX with four receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Matthews caught only four passes in nine games this season as his bid to follow up that performance got off to a poor start and never really got going. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had a rather tepid review of what Seattle was seeing from Matthews in training camp, and through the first nine games of the season he’s been buried on the depth chart behind starters Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse as well as rookie Tyler Lockett. Matthews has averaged about 14 offensive snaps per game, according to data from FootballOutsiders.com
It’s not surprising based on Matthews’ lack of production that the Seahawks would give up on him, but the timing interesting given the current state of their wide receiver corps. Ricardo Lockette was recently lost to a season-ending neck injury. Paul Richardson made his 2015 debut on Sunday but sustained a hamstring injury that, from the sounds of it, could cause him to miss some time.
Perhaps the Seahawks’ willingness to move on from Matthews despite potentially being short-handed at wide receiver is further indication of how he had fallen out of favor.
Bevell’s comments from training camp made it clear that Seattle wasn’t pleased with Matthews’ consistency.
“I just want to see him show up every day, and that’s what I’ve talked to him about every day,” Bevell said in August. “We don’t want to have a situation where we come out here and he has one good day and then he disappears for two or three and then, ‘Oh, there he is again, he’s out here.’ We want to make him make himself be known, that we know he’s out here every day and if for some reason he wasn’t here, everyone would know that he’s missing. That’s what we’re trying to get with him.”
The Seahawks apparently never got that from Matthews, which helps explain their decision to move on.