Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews, unhappy with his limited role since returning from a knee injury, has asked the club for and apparently will be granted his release.
The news was first reported by Austin Stanley of TitanInsider's sister site, AtoZSports.com. Matthews was absent from Wednesday's practice for what Coach Mike Vrabel termed, “personal reasons.”
Matthews, who caught 118 passes the previous two years, missed much of the team's off-season work with an Achilles injury an then had his knee scoped in early August, causing him to land on the physically unable to perform list throughout the greater part of training camp.
During that time, Matthews, whose contract was set to expire in 2019, negotiated a one-year extension with the club that would keep him in Tennessee through next season. He negotiated that deal by himself, as he parted ways with his long-time agent Steve Caric a short time before that.
Matthews told TitanInsider in an exclusive interview last week about not being happy with his role since returning from the injury. He indicated in the interview that he felt he was 100 percent healthy, and when asked about his playing time in the first two weeks of the season, he replied, “I don't know. Not enough, in my opinion.”
He reiterated that to AtoZSports on Wednesday night.
“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years,” Matthews told AtoZ. “Then all of a sudden I’m barely playing and not even starting. Using my injury as the scapegoat. Look at number of snaps and targets.”
Matthews had 36 snaps in the opener in Miami and 28 in week two against Houston. He had 31 snaps against Jacksonville, giving him 95 for the season. He has been targeted six times. He has lost playing time to a trio of young receivers – Corey Davis, Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor.
His primary role this season was to fill in as a punt returner on a couple of occasions when regular return man Adoree' Jackson has been dinged up with injuries.