The Tennessee Titans are seeking to consolidate their player power even as the NFL regular season draws near. On Tuesday, the Titans announced that they would be extending Rishard Matthews' contract. This is a one-year extension for the wide receiver who has proven to be a formidable force in the slot. This is a move that has been widely seen as a mode to up performance in NFL week 1 and beyond. Indeed, the team may be looking to set the pace. Having said this, there are many uncertainties on the form and health of Matthews. It is not even clear whether he will participate in the first week of the regular season.
Rishard Matthews WR #18
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 217 lb (98 kg)
Drafted: 2012 / Round: 7 / Pick: 227
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Matthews extension deal is worth a staggering $7.75 million. According to Yates, this deal offers the extension option to keep Matthews in Tennessee through the entire 2018/2019 season. This will happen if the Titans exercise this option. Information put out by Spotrac states that Matthews will make a base salary of about 5 million. The player signed a deal that would last three years in 2016. This 2016 deal was worth $15 million. With regard to Matthews' performance after signing the deal, 2016 saw him set career highs that included 65 catches for a total of 945 yards and nine touchdowns.
However, the last season was not very impressive for the wide receiver when he recorded a steady dip in performance. He managed about 53 receptions for a total of 795 yards. The player only managed four scores even as quarterback Marcus Mariota struggled in the plays. As noted above, it is not clear whether Matthews will be playing in Week 1 of the regular season. He is placed on a list of players who are not able to perform. The injury he may be suffering has not been disclosed by the team.
For the Titans, the Matthews deal will work perfectly for them. This is because they can walk away from it if the player is not able to perform in the season. To this end, there are no risks and in a way, it retains a player for the team. On the flip side, Matthews will be risking his performance if he cannot deliver. If he suffers injury or struggles, this will not work in his favor. Keep in mind that the 28-year old has been rated as the most sure-handed catcher of passes aside from Delanie Walker. Walker is an excellent player who is the tight end in the team. Matthews is viewed as a catalyst to the developing performance of Mariota even as he seeks to return in the next season.
For now, a healthy Matthews will go a long way in boosting the team and their outlook for the regular season. Keep in mind that the status of Corey Davis who is a first-round draft pick is not clear. With this matter still pending, the team may have moved to cushion itself. As NFL Week 1 draws closer, it will be interesting to see whether this Titans wide receiver will step up to the plate in the right form.
@YahooNoise Brad, could I get your thoughts? 14 team, .5ppr, 7th spot
Qb: Big Ben Rb1: Kamara Rb2: J Howard Wr1: D Baldwin Wr2: A Cooper TE: T Burton Flex: Dion Lewis Bench: C Clement, S Shepard, C Hogan, Rishard Mathews