The Patriots' wide receiver group is very much in flux this offseason, particularly with Julian Edelman returning from an ACL tear he suffered last offseason and battling a four-game suspension. Everyone has expected someone to step up out of nowhere, because that's what the Patriots have happen, and the logical guy was Jordan Matthews.
But Matthews, a former high pick who last played for the Bills in the AFC East, is already done with the Patriots, as New England cut him on Tuesday in the wake of what sounds like a significant hamstring injury. Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reported the news.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported before the release of Matthews that the Patriots feared the injury to Matthews, who was might be "significant."significant reps,
There was a report that Matthews might simply be placed on injured reserve, but that no longer appears to be the case, as the team officially announced his release on Wednesday afternoon.
That means the remaining wideouts for New England are basically Chris Hogan, Philip Dorsett (acquired in training camp last year) and Braxton Berrios (rookie). It's not a deep position for the Patriots at the moment.
With Matthews out the door, the Patriots are expected to turn to the most obvious free-agent answer possible: Eric Decker. Field Yates of ESPN first reported the interest (PFT Commenter points out the obvious).
The running NFL joke around the Patriots usually involves them bringing in coachable, Caucasian receivers who are veterans and undervalued in terms of the open market. Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, the list goes on.
Decker scored 17 touchdowns during his first two years with the Jets, but managed just 63 catches for 757 yards and three touchdowns.
If there was any landing spot where Decker could magically reclaim some success while becoming one of his team's top slot and red-zone threats (and he excels at both), it would be New England. Don't be surprised when he lands there and catches 10 passes for 100 yards in a Week 1 Patriots win.