Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides updates on the team’s recent roster shake-up.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wide receiver Rishard Matthews asked for his release Monday from the Tennessee Titans. General manager Jon Robinson announced on Thursday that the team had granted Matthews’ request.
“We released Rishard Matthews this morning. That’s kind of where we’re at” Robinson said. “Roster is at 52. Appreciate what he’s done for the team last couple of years but it’s a decision that we came to.”
Reports surfaced Wednesday night that Matthews had requested his release and that all impeding said release was the finalization of the paperwork. Citing his role in the team’s offense as the primary reason for his displeasure, Matthews believed he could and should be contributing more.
“Everything is good!” Matthews said in a text to A to Z Sports. “Just wasn’t happy with what was going on barely getting any playing time. It was time to move on.”
Matthews reached out to Robinson Monday following Tennessee’s 9-6 road win against the Jacksonville Jaguars to express his views and request a release/trade.
“He reached out to me Monday and asked to be released or traded,” said Robinson of Matthews. “We explored the trade option with several teams, and I would say that a market never really manifested itself to get a deal.”
Vrabel told the Nashville media that Matthews missed practice on Wednesday for “personal reasons” but did not elaborate further. Later that evening, Matthews posted a picture of his family on Instagram. The caption read “When Daddy’s home for good. That is unless someone Calls him to get off the couch #MyTeam #MySonNeedsACut.”
Matthews missed most of the 2018 offseason and training camp after undergoing knee surgery, according to Paul Kuharsky. Tennessee extended the wide receiver’s contract through the 2019 season in August but the production through three games this season has been nonexistent. With three catches for 11 yards in 2018, Matthews was not targeted once in the season opener, target four times against Houston and twice more in Jacksonville. The 2016 free-agent acquisition caught 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns in his first year as a Titan, followed up by 53 catches for 795 yards and four scores.
The Titans signed Matthews to a three-year, $15 million contract and a $2.5 million signing bonus in coming to Tennessee by way of Miami. The one-year extension Robinson & Co. gave the veteran this August was designed to keep him in Nashville through the 2019-2020 season on a team option worth $7.75 million and a base salary of $5 million this season and $4.5 million the next, according to OverTheCap.com. With his release, the wide receiver accounts for $2.458M in dead money and cap savings of $6.325 million.
With tight end Delanie Walker already likely done for the year with an ankle injury, starting quarterback Marcus Mariota has now lost the vast majority of his receiving production as the bizarro 2018 campaign continues.