After trading away Brandin Cooks, the New England Patriots have signed Jordan Matthews to give Tom Brady another weapon.
Last season, Jordan Matthews had his season derailed by injury and only had 25 catches with the Buffalo Bills after a promising start to his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He entered this free agency period hoping to finally get a chance in a top-tier offense where he could properly demonstrate his skills. Signing with the Patriots is the best thing for him and the team.
While everybody had fun theorizing that the Patriots traded Cooks so they could use their two first-round draft picks for Odell Beckham Jr. this is a more realistic outcome that allows for New England to retain its picks.
The last few years, the Patriots have run an uptempo, timing-based offense. This is the type of offense that suits Matthews best. Most of the routes he has run during his career stay within 10 yards of scrimmage so he gets open quick and stays there. He doesn’t have to go deep with the Patriots, leaving that to guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and Philip Dorsett. Matthews also had his two best seasons in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense. With the Patriots running a lot of no-huddle, this may allow Matthews to rebound from his down year with the Bills.
New England has been taking slot receivers and turning them into key contributors forever. Matthews will follow the mold of guys like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, the latter of which who left for the Miami Dolphins. Despite his gaudy numbers, Cooks didn’t fit the Patriots well, so they moved on. Matthews can now come in and fill the role in a way that New England can optimize his performance with it.