After an injury-plagued season with the Bills, Matthews signed a one-year, $1-million deal with the Patriots and will have a chance to earn a significant role in a Tom Brady-triggered offense. Matthews had eight TD catches in each of his first two NFL seasons, and he averaged 75 receptions and 891 yards over his first three years in the league. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick appreciates versatility, and Matthews can line up either outside or in the slot.
Knee and ankle injuries limited Matthews to 10 unproductive games last season. He had a pair of surgeries in December to fix those issues, but Matthews has had knee problems in the past, and a clean bill of health canít be taken for granted. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman will command a huge share of targets in New England, and Chris Hogan, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett are also in the mix at wide receiver. Matthews has done his best work in the slot, and there may not be many slot opportunities for him with Edelman around.
Productive in his first three NFL seasons, Matthews is now in a top-flight passing offense. He has the potential to rebound from a forgettable 2017 campaign if he comes back healthy and can survive some positional competition in New England.