The Miami Dolphins are the latest team to release veteran wide receiver Jabar Gaffney and rookie Rishard Matthews stands to benefit from his release. In fact, the Palm Beach Post wrote that Matthews will receive a bigger role in the offense and many expect him to entrench himself as the No. 4 wide receiver for this team.
The former Nevada Wolfpack star has played in just two games this season, catching his first pass last week against the Buffalo Bills. That play went for 19 yards in the fourth quarter, and Matthews should be receiving more plays as the season wears on. He was a solid performer in the preseason, and it must have been discouraging for him to see that his solid preseason was not rewarded with playing time.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said,
“We like the play-speed he played with for his first game. You’re never quite sure until you get a guy out in a game, and I thought he played fast. A lot of the things we do are based on how guys produce and perform at practice, so we’ll take a look at it as we move forward.”
Matthews produced in the preseason, and he has produced at practice. Speed is definitely a plus for him, and it’s what allowed him to star for Nevada and be a crucial vertical threat in the pistol offense led by none other than San Francisco 49ers rising quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The 6’0″, 217 pound WR was a good sleeper pick for the Dolphins in the seventh round of the draft and makes up for a lack of athleticism with effort and an uncanny ability to pick up yards after the catch. He fights hard on every play and is also dangerous when catching the ball in traffic. Matthews was a crucial piece for Nevada in college, and he deserves to grasp a hold of the No. 4 wide receiver spot for now. It will be interesting to see how many snaps he gets against the New England Patriots in Week 13.
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