The Tennessee Titans will shortly be looking for a new wide receiver after Rishard Matthews was granted a release from the team, reports ESPN.
Matthews spoke to A to Z Sports saying that he had negotiated a release from the team on Wednesday, and today, the Titans announced, via an official statement, that they had released the veteran wide receiver. In speaking to the website, Matthews complained about a lack of playing time and that he felt it was time to move on to greener pastures. Matthews was angry about his treatment by the team and vented to A to Z Sports about his final months at the club.
“I’ve been the leading receiver for two years. Then all of a sudden I’m barely playing and not even starting, using the injury as my scapegoat. Look at the number of snaps and targets,” he argued,
Matthews had only just signed a one-year extension with the team worth $7.5 million last month, despite having a difficult start. With just three of six receptions so far this season, which puts him at fifth on the team, the wideout was rewarded for his loyalty on the team, but he has not repaid the team for the same.
Reporters at the Titans training facility on Thursday noted that Matthews was absent before the Titans had announced his release. At the time, Head Coach Mike Vrabel said that his wide receiver was absent from the training session for “personal reasons.”
After taking time to cool down from his initial discussions with A to Z Sports, Matthews was able to discuss his departure in more detail. The wide receiver claimed that the reason for his decision was that he felt that the coaches had lost respect for his skill and had reduced his playing time.
That playing time had been decreased when Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe got more playing time, seeing their snaps increase in recent weeks. That led to Matthews feeling like he was on his last chances at the Titans, and that he needed to “leave before it was too late.”
The Titans will certainly feel the absence of their wide receiver, with no ready-made replacement to step in, Taylor and Sharpe, in just their second and third years as professional players, are going to have to step up their playing time and responsibilities. They will be joined by those further down the line, like Darius Jennings and Nick Williams.