After no-showing at practice on Wednesday, the receiver told a local media outlet that he plans to "move on" from the team.
"Everything is good! Just wasn't happy with what was going on barely getting any playing time. It was time to move on," Matthews wrote in a text to A To Z Sports on Wednesday night.
It was clear that something was up on Wednesday when he didn't show up for practice. At the time, coach Mike Vrabel said he was excused for "personal reasons." As it turns out, those personal reasons involved not wanting to play for the Titans anymore.
One thing that's not clear is what "move on" means. Matthews hasn't said if he plans to retire, and the Titans haven't given any indication that they plan to release him just yet. However, Matthews did tell A To Z Sports that he asked the Titans for his release and they're expected to grant it. Apparently, the two sides have come to some sort of agreement that will become official once all the paperwork is finalized.
In a picture posted to Instagram on Wednesday, Matthews insinuated that he's already a free agent, writing, "Daddy's home for good," unless "someone calls him to get off the couch."
If the Titans do release Matthews, then he would be free to sign with any team. The Titans could also try to hang on to him for a day or two and try to pull off a trade like the Browns did with Josh Gordon.
The receiver's decision to leave the team comes just over one month after he signed a one-year contract extension that was scheduled to keep him in Tennessee through the 2019 season. Matthews likely signed the extension because he thought he was going to play a big role in Tennessee's offense over the next two years. However, that hasn't been the case through three weeks.
Through three games this season, Matthews has caught just three passes for 11 yards, which are low numbers for a player who caught 53 passes for 795 yards in 2017. Those 2017 totals were the highest for any wide receiver on the team and trailed only tight end Delanie Walker, who caught 74 passes for 807 yards. In 2016, Matthews caught 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns.
Based on his text to A To Z Sports, Matthews was clearly upset with the way he was being used this year.
"I've been the leading receiver for two years," Matthews wrote. "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."
The injury Matthews is referring to is a torn meniscus that he suffered early in training camp, according to PaulKuharsky.com.
As for those "snaps and targets," Matthews has been targeted six times in three weeks. Of course, that's not exactly a low number in Tennessee, where receivers have struggled to do anything this season. The Titans' leading receiver is Corey Davis, who has 13 catches for 151 yards. Their second leading receiver is actually a defensive player: safety Dane Cruikshank caught a 66-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt in Week 2.