You have to wonder what the New England Patriots are doing by trading or releasing top-level talent and stockpiling draft picks. With key players removed from the team’s 2017 Super Bowl roster, is this the beginning of another rebirth of the team that dominated the NFL the past 15-plus season. On Thursday, the New England Patriots announced they had signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews two days after sending Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams. It’s a move typical of Bill Belichick – finding solid players to move into starring roles while making adjustments as he sees fit.
Per Nick Shook of NFL.com, it was ESPN.com that first reported the move.
“Matthews entered the league with the Philadelphia Eagles as a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014 and looked to have the potential to become a No. 1 receiver,” Shook wrote. “He saw less playing time in his final season in Philadelphia, and Eagles GM Howie Roseman gave up on those hopes entirely in 2017 when he dealt Matthews to Buffalo. The receiver struggled to stay healthy and caught just 25 passes for 282 yards and one touchdown in his lone season with the Bills.”
Cooks was in New Orleans this time last season before he was traded to the Patriots for a first round pick. Cooks helped the New England Patriots reach Super Bowl 51 where they lost to the Eagles.
Jordan Matthews could provide big-play ability for Tom Brady and the passing game.
“Prior to 2017, Matthews averaged 75 receptions for 891 yards receiving and about six touchdowns per season,” Shook added. “He’s demonstrated he has the physical tools to be an effective receiver. Should the 6-foot-3, 212-pound wideout return to that level, New England will have found itself a bargain.”
The New England Patriots also lost Danny Amendola in free agency. The veteran wide receiver signed with the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots could use one of their two first round picks to grab a pass catcher. While this is not considered a deep wide receiver class, there should be players at the bottom of the first round who will be available.