Jordan Matthews signed with the 49ers this offseason, and he's expected to compete for a reserve role. At best, Matthews could be the slot receiver in San Francisco, but this is a crowded receiving corps with Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Richie James, Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor, along with George Kittle at tight end. If healthy, Matthews could be the slot receiver, but lower-leg injuries have plagued him for the past three seasons. He looked like a promising Fantasy option with the Eagles in 2014-15 when he combined for 152 catches for 1,869 yards and 16 touchdowns on 231 targets, but he's never come close to that production since. Keep an eye on his role in training camp, but Matthews isn't worth drafting in most formats.
Matthews had his moments during June minicamp, facing decreased competition for reps with rookies Deebo Samuel (hip) and Jalen Hurd (knee) unavailable, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports. The rookies are expected to return for training camp, potentially putting Matthews on the roster bubble. His one-year, $2 million contract includes just $300,000 guaranteed, and he signed the deal before the 49ers used a second-round pick on Samuel and a third-round selection on Hurd. With Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Richie James also in the mix, San Francisco has eight wide receivers that can make a solid case for a roster spot.
Matthews and Kendrick Bourne may compete for playing time at the Z receiver spot in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports. Matthews did his best work in the slot for Philadelphia, but he also has some experience outside and isn't lacking in size or speed. Shanahan is aiming for competition at each of the three receiver spots, with Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis battling at the X position while Trent Taylor and Richie James duke it out for slot work. The coach had good things to say about Matthews, but Shanahan also acknowledged the possibility of boosting his wide-receiver group during the upcoming draft. Matthews may end up fighting just to keep his roster spot, as his one-year contract contains only $300,000 guaranteed, per OverTheCap.com. The quantity-over-quality approach creates a wide range of potential outcomes for each wide receiver.
The 49ers have reached an agreement to sign Matthews, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports. Matthews is joining a receiving corps chock full of holdovers, including Marquise Goodwin (calf), Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James and Trent Taylor. Since putting together three straight 800-plus yard seasons with the Eagles to begin his career, he's fallen short of that threshold, production-wise, between Buffalo and Philadelphia the past two years (582 yards in 24 games). Perhaps coach Kyle Shanahan noticed Matthews' peripherals during that stretch -- 70.3 percent catch rate and 9.1 YPT -- which indicate a salvageable player. Matthews will get an entire offseason to prove he's worthy of sticking in San Francisco for the 2019 campaign.
Matthews brought in one of two targets for a 37-yard touchdown in the Eagles' 20-14 divisional-round playoff loss to the Saints on Sunday. Matthews struck early, getting loose downfield and making a nifty over-the-shoulder scoring grab to put the Eagles on the board just over four minutes into the contest. That was the extent of his highlights, however, as the Philadelphia passing game was mostly quiet after the first quarter. The 26-year-old returned to the franchise that made him a 2014 second-round pick after a summer release by the Patriots, generating a 20-300-2 line across 14 games as a complementary option in the offense. Matthews will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year, and it remains to be seen if the team will have interest in bringing him back into the fold.
Matthews caught two of three targets for 13 yards during Sunday's 32-30 win over the Texans. The veteran wideout caught multiple passes for the first time in a month but still wasn't able to top 15 yards, something he hasn't accomplished since Week 11. With fellow receiver Mike Wallace (lower leg) having since been activated from injured reserve and potentially being available for the regular-season finale against Washington, Matthews' chances of making an impact might be even lower than usual.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|6||10/13||@Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
|12||11/24||Green Bay Packers||26||24.75|
|14||12/08||@New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
|16||12/22||Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||60||39||462||2||22||11.85||58|