Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

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Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:33 pm

http://espn.go.com/blog/miami-dolphins/post/_/id/18654/previewing-dolphins-2016-free-agents-rishard-matthews

James Walker (covers the Phins for ESPN) gives his take on whether or not to re-sign free agent Rishard Matthews this offseason:

Reasons to re-sign: Matthews has built himself from a seventh-round draft pick to a decent starting receiver. Matthews didn’t get many opportunities until this year, but he usually took advantage. He’s already set career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Reason to let walk: The Dolphins drafted rookie receiver DeVante Parker with the No. 14 overall pick for a reason. Parker is expected to be a long-term building block and eventual starter. Instead of paying starter money to Matthews with a tight cap, it makes more sense to promote Parker to the starting lineup in 2016. The rookie will get more playing time in the next five weeks to show what he can do. Look for Miami to let Matthews walk and get paid elsewhere next season.

My take: after what seems like 100 years, the Dolphins have FINALLY drafted and developed a WR that is actually good (along with Landry, of course). Unless he's going to get a mega-contract, why the hell would we let him walk??? These are the types of players we need to keep! I personally don't think Matthews is going to command a lot of money on the open market, since he really hasn't done anything extraordinary at this point, and I'd work hard to get him signed before free agency begins.

I know we are cap-strapped, and I know we have Landry and Parker at WR. Personally, I would keep Matthews and dump the underwhelming Kenny Stills and the 'dead man walking' Greg Jennings, and then look to fill out the WR corps with a cheap vet and a development player. While we're at it, I'd dump Matt Hazel too...he's a wasted roster spot.

We need to save money, but let's do it by dumping the overrated losers on this roster (cough...Koa Misi...cough) - NOT by letting one of our few good offensive players walk away.

And while we're on the subject, I'd find a way to keep Lamar Miller too...when used properly, he's been our biggest weapon on offense - assuming he's not going to get upper-tier money, bring him back.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:18 pm

JMP wrote:My take: after what seems like 100 years, the Dolphins have FINALLY drafted and developed a WR that is actually good (along with Landry, of course).   Unless he's going to get a mega-contract, why the hell would we let him walk???  These are the types of players we need to keep!  I personally don't think Matthews is going to command a lot of money on the open market, since he really hasn't done anything extraordinary at this point, and I'd work hard to get him signed before free agency begins.

Drafted yes. Developed? Not so sure Matthews hasn't gotten as far as he has in spite of this team. Philbin flat out refused to play him until this season, for one thing.

And while we're on the subject, I'd find a way to keep Lamar Miller too...when used properly, he's been our biggest weapon on offense - assuming he's not going to get upper-tier money, bring him back.  

My question is, why would Matthews and Miller even WANT to come back to this clown show? If I were them, I sure wouldn't.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by mercury22nathan on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:21 pm

I’m torn on this – I’m just not sure and I think it depends on the size of the deal we are talking. I thought the Phins overpaid Hartline, yet he was more productive than Matthews. So if using the Hartline contract as a point of reference, would you be happy paying Matthews that contract (we are talking starter’s money, right)? I really like what Matthews has done this year, but typically, I’d like to see a player produce consistently throughout his rookie deal before re-signing him to a larger second contract. Matthews hasn’t produced until this year – a contract year. The knock on him was he was lazy, didn’t provide effort or study film, fell asleep and was late to meetings and now I am supposed to believe that’s all permanently behind him? Any chance he’s just performing in a contract year and will fall right back into those habits once he’s paid? Any chance the Phins could put a tag him (like Welker) where we’re not talking franchise money, but starting money where another team could still sign him, but the Phins get a 2nd round pick? And if the Phins pay Matthews starting money (opposite Landry) does that mean they’re basically saying that DeVante Parker won’t develop into a starter – at least for the length of the Matthews deal?

I’d like to have Matthews back, but I am just not sure.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:37 pm

DolFan 316 wrote:
JMP wrote:My take: after what seems like 100 years, the Dolphins have FINALLY drafted and developed a WR that is actually good (along with Landry, of course).   Unless he's going to get a mega-contract, why the hell would we let him walk???  These are the types of players we need to keep!  I personally don't think Matthews is going to command a lot of money on the open market, since he really hasn't done anything extraordinary at this point, and I'd work hard to get him signed before free agency begins.

Drafted yes. Developed? Not so sure Matthews hasn't gotten as far as he has in spite of this team. Philbin flat out refused to play him until this season, for one thing.

And while we're on the subject, I'd find a way to keep Lamar Miller too...when used properly, he's been our biggest weapon on offense - assuming he's not going to get upper-tier money, bring him back.  

My question is, why would Matthews and Miller even WANT to come back to this clown show? If I were them, I sure wouldn't.

Oh, there's no doubt that the Philbin staff did Matthews no favors. But whatever the terms, I just intended to pint out that we actually drafted a receiver in the later rounds that became a very solid player.

As far as Matthews or Miller wanting to stay with the Phins...I guess it will depend on the new coaching staff, and more importantly what kind of $$$ the Phins offer. If Philbin and Lazor were still here, I think both players would run out of Miami as fast as they possibly could. Ultimately, I think Miller wants to stay in Miami because of his ties there, and I'm guessing Matthews will follow the money.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by finfanatic on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:55 pm

I like Matt Hazel and think he could develop.

I like Mathews too, but it is going to depend on the amount of money he is expecting. And Philbin in his typical Clueless Joe incarnation, did not LIKE Mathews and thus only played him grudgingly.

Mathews is a bit of a terd it seems, but a terd who can play. You put up with the stench for terds that can play.

I doubt the Phins pony up big bucks for a WR this year. The cap situation being what it is....

Miller is a goner IMO. Unless he just WANTS to stay in Miami for a modest contract. And as DF points out, if he does want to stay, there is obviously something wrong with him!

Again...most of these questions will have to wait to be resolved AFTER the new HC gets here.

A big time REAL HC is probably gonna want to gut the team and get rid of the crapola and rebuild.

Another Clueless dimwit might think he can polish the terd that is this team into something spectacular???

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:02 pm

mercury22nathan wrote:I’m torn on this – I’m just not sure and I think it depends on the size of the deal we are talking.  I thought the Phins overpaid Hartline, yet he was more productive than Matthews.  So if using the Hartline contract as a point of reference, would you be happy paying Matthews that contract (we are talking starter’s money, right)?  I really like what Matthews has done this year, but typically, I’d like to see a player produce consistently throughout his rookie deal before re-signing him to a larger second contract.  Matthews hasn’t produced until this year – a contract year.  The knock on him was he was lazy, didn’t provide effort or study film, fell asleep and was late to meetings and now I am supposed to believe that’s all permanently behind him?  Any chance he’s just performing in a contract year and will fall right back into those habits once he’s paid?  Any chance the Phins could put a tag him (like Welker) where we’re not talking franchise money, but starting money where another team could still sign him, but the Phins get a 2nd round pick?  And if the Phins pay Matthews starting money (opposite Landry) does that mean they’re basically saying that DeVante Parker won’t develop into a starter – at least for the length of the Matthews deal?

I’d like to have Matthews back, but I am just not sure.

Assuming Landry stays in the slot, Parker and Matthews would both be starters next season (or, at the least, they'd have the opportunity to both win starting jobs.)

I agree that the $ is the issue. But I honestly don't think Matthews will command all that much money on the open market. He's not having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, and he doesn't have a large body of work. Hartline's contract was completely asinine for a variety of reasons, but prior to that deal he did at least have 4 seasons as a starter, plus a 1000 yard season, under his belt. Matthews doesn't have a resume like that, and I don't think there's a chance in hell that he gets a $6 million a year contract like Hartline did.

I'm thinking Matthews gets a 2-3 year deal, at around $2.5 - 3.0 million per. I'd sign up for that right now. Anything higher than $3.5 million a year, and I'm out.





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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:09 pm

finfanatic wrote:I like Matt Hazel and think he could develop.

A lot of Dolfans seem to like Hazel, and I have no idea why. He hasn't shown me anything but mediocrity in preseason, and he doesn't contribute on special teams so he can't even be the fifth or sixth receiver (although he may finally get a chance with the Matthews injury). He's essentially a waste of a roster space. Receivers like Hazel are a dime a dozen...there's absolutely nothing special about him, and I don't see any upside. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it is what it is.

The new staff will have no ties to Hazel, so I expect him to be out of the league next season.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by finfanatic on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:20 pm

JMP wrote:
finfanatic wrote:I like Matt Hazel and think he could develop.

A lot of Dolfans seem to like Hazel, and I have no idea why.  He hasn't shown me anything but mediocrity in preseason, and he doesn't contribute on special teams so he can't even be the fifth or sixth receiver (although he may finally get a chance with the Matthews injury).  He's essentially a waste of a roster space.  Receivers like Hazel are a dime a dozen...there's absolutely nothing special about him, and I don't see any upside.  I don't mean to sound harsh, but it is what it is.  

The new staff will have no ties to Hazel, so I expect him to be out of the league next season.

I think most of us would have said the same things about Mathews once?

Well, when all those "dime a dozen" WRs were in during the pre-season, which WR was it that consistently made plays?

Which is why Hazel is on the roster I am thinking.

It may have been a fluke of course, but as a long shot, the first thing you have to do is get yourself noticed and Hazel did that,
and a pile of the other "dime a dozen" WRs did not get noticed, or at least did not get noticed in a good way.

Either way, I doubt the future of the Phins hinges on Hazel.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:54 pm

finfanatic wrote:I think most of us would have said the same things about Mathews once?

Not at all - Matthews played STs in his rookie season, and had 11 ctaches as a receiver. He at least showed something, and I remember some Dolfans (myself included) screaming for him to get more playing time even then. Season two, he had over 40 catches and looked like an NFL receiver. Whereas in two seasons, Hazel can't even make it to the active list.

finfanatic wrote:Well, when all those "dime a dozen" WRs were in during the pre-season, which WR was it that consistently made plays?

I'm really not interested in what 3rd or 4th team players did..I'm pretty sure all of those guys are out of the league. TE Gerell Robinson made the best play of the preseason IMO with a beautiful 50+ yard TD...where is he now? Hell, La Mike James was our top returner and averaged 5 yards a carry as a RB! And, the Dolphins have a long list of WRs that kicked ass in preseason and were never heard from again...Sam Simmons, Kirby Dar Dar and that guy Brian something-or-other come immediately to mind.

finfanatic wrote:Which is why Hazel is on the roster I am thinking.

There's a lot of guys on this roster that don't belong...Hazel is not alone!


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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:10 pm

JMP wrote:And, the Dolphins have a long list of WRs that kicked ass in preseason and were never heard from again...Sam Simmons, Kirby Dar Dar and that guy Brian something-or-other come immediately to mind.

Brian Manning. You're welcome Cool

Spending part of '97 living in south Florida during the Fins' preseason finally paid off Very Happy Laughing


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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:27 pm

Yes, Brian Manning! He was a mini-camp/preseason superstar! LOL

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by scotgif on Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:16 am

How bout the guy they drafted back in the day, ya know the "White Randy Moss". Dude never made the field I recall.
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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:36 am

scotgif wrote:How bout the guy they drafted back in the day, ya know the "White Randy Moss". Dude never made the field I recall.

Larry Shannon.

Damn I'm good Cool

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by scotgif on Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:46 am

DolFan 316 wrote:
scotgif wrote:How bout the guy they drafted back in the day, ya know the "White Randy Moss". Dude never made the field I recall.

Larry Shannon.

Damn I'm good Cool

Dat's him. Another Training Camp HOF'er.
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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by JMP on Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:07 am

Oh yeah, Larry Shannon was the pick that was supposed to justify trading down and missing out on Moss. lol!

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by rightchea on Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:42 pm

I have to say that I would keep Matthews and get rid of Jennings and Hazel. Both of them are worthless and a waste of cap/roster space. Stills, Landry, Matthews and Parker should be enough as long as they put one of the TE out wide.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by Degarmo on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:17 am

To be brutally honest, although Matthews has done some nice things, I don't see him as a particularly great player. Somewhat solid with occasional cases of the drops. If he wants too much money, there are other guys out there that can fill his position for less. It's not that I don't like the guy, but I don't really feel like he's special in any tangible way.
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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:27 am

IMO it's not how special Matthews look per se, it's how he looks in relation to the other Fins' WRs. Which at this point is pretty good. Would you honestly rather have Matthews or Stills? Matthews or Hazel? Hell, there's no guarantee even Parker will wind up reaching the same level of production as Matthews.

And as horribly as THIS team drafts and picks FAs, why would you create yet another hole by letting Matthews walk? Now, if he wants to leave then that's one thing (and again, if he has any degree of intelligence whatsoever, he honestly should), but don't run him off by acting like he's "nothing special" when on this team, "nothing special" is a vast IMPROVEMENT over the usual. And what's your definition of special, anyway? Pro Bowler? All-Pro? Future HOFer? Or something a bit less?

It would be IMO like selling off your car that runs perfectly fine and gets you where you want to go, because it's not a Lexus or Porsche. Now you've got no car and still might not have the money to buy a Lexus or Porsche, and the nearest dealership might be 50 miles away.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by white1 on Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:09 am

Great thread and here's a thought for you guys.

Wouldn't it be nice to see us make a bold move, and have it actually work out for us?

So here's my wish. Tannenbaum, reflecting on his time with the Jets, suddenly comes to the realization "It's all about the quarterback! I did not have the QB I needed in New York, and now the same thing is happening here in Miami. Well, if I want to keep this job, I better get one. I've only had one year so Ross can stay patient if I can sell him on a plan."

I'm predicting we will finish at a spot that nets us a top 10 draft pick. Certainly within striking distance of moving up and taking a top QB prospect - if not THE top QB prospect.

Who do we have to trade besides draft picks? We need those picks to restock our talent depleted roster. Who is cheap, young and has value that would make a potential trade partner seriously think? I'll tell you. Jarvis Landry.

Now, of course, this is all hypothetical. We don't know who the prospects are, how highly they will be rated, and how far we will have to move up. Add those factors to the possibility a potential trade partner may also need a QB. But if the value works out, if the partner is someone that already has a QB they like, I offer Landry plus our number 1 pick to move up the number of spots needed to draft the potential franchise QB. Landry is probably my favorite player on this squad. But guess what? With the guy throwing the ball to him, his value and potential impact on winning games is going to be limited. A stud WR is just not much of a threat when all you have is an average QB.

In this scenario, I resign Matthews, and go into the season with Stills - Matthews - Parker as my top 3 WR. Tannehill likely starts in 2016, but it's effectively the last year of his contract here in Miami. If the QB I take has a stellar preseason, maybe we start him instead and Tannehill is the backup next year. Moore is gone.

I also keep Miller, because there are enough holes on the roster that I don't want to burn a draft pick on another one. I like Miller - Ajayi, with Miller gone I'm not comfortable Ajayi alone gets me what I need in the backfield. Besides, the market will set Miller's value, and I believe he will be quite affordable. Teams just don't pay running backs anymore - unless you're AP - and that he is not.

So there it is. Go bold this offseason. Do not remained satisfied with a quarterback surrounded by more questions than answers after 60+ NFL starts. Find the right guy and then build around him. Do whatever it takes to get that guy. Everything else is just moving around deck chairs on the Titanic. Recognize that fact and do something about it.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by white1 on Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:14 am

"But white1, Landry won't be enough! You'll need more value to get that pick! This isn't Madden after all."

Fine. But at some point, the value DOES make sense. Who else do we have? What about Ju'Wan James PLUS Landry? That's a very good, young RT that can also play LT in a pinch, plus a young and cheap playmaker, plus a top 10 pick just to move up in the draft.

This is what I'm saying. Move players, keep draft picks. SELL. THE. FARM. To get the quarterback you believe in. I'd rather need a right tackle and a slot receiver than need a franchise QB. I can patch those holes with journeymen in free agency, or draft a stud in the following year's draft. Or use my second round pick on one of them.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by Degarmo on Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:32 am

If you want to trade for a QB right now, let's see what Pittsburgh wants for Landry Jones.
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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by CarsonChris on Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:07 pm

If I'm Matthews I only sign if Miami drafts a new QB!

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:12 pm

Degarmo wrote:If you want to trade for a QB right now, let's see what Pittsburgh wants for Landry Jones.

You realize Landry Jones sucked before this season, right? The Steelers WANT some sucker to trade for him.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by DolFan 316 on Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:14 pm

SO...apparently from what you guys are saying this game actually bolsters the case for Matthews staying to an even greater degree than if he'd actually played? If I'm his agent I'm grinning from ear to ear right now.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

Post by rightchea on Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:43 pm

This game showed the importance of Matthews being in the game. Landry didn't do much at all nor did Parker even though he caught a great TD. Most players at his level would have not made that catch.

The problem is that Matthews is going to be looking for some money and Miami probably won't be able to afford.

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Re: Rishard Matthews is a free agent - keep or walk away?

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