The 49ers have added to their offense, signing former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews.
Matthews, at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, could be the big-body receiver that the team has been looking for. In his five seasons in the NFL, Matthews has spent time Philadelphia, Buffalo and one offseason with the Patriots.
The Patriots cut Matthews as a result of a significant hamstring injury during the 2018 offseason. He was later signed by the Eagles, where he appeared in 14 games.
Matthews has 270 career receptions for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns. The majority of those touchdowns have been from inside the red zone, an area that’s been a challenge for coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Jordan Matthews talks about signing with the #49ers. He caught 45 passes for 582 yards and three TDs the past two seasons with Bills and Eagles. In first three years with Eagles, he averaged 75-891-6. pic.twitter.com/cmEvCNeTWH— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) March 14, 2019
Upon signing with the team, Matthews spoke about why he chose the 49ers.
“I had a huge interest in wanting to be at a place like this,” Matthews said. “It’s got everything you want, as far as the culture of the team already, young, vibrant, great quarterback in Jimmy (Garoppolo). So as a receiver, you couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
Matthews also has a unique connection to the team, being the cousin of Hall of Fame wide receiver, Jerry Rice. He recalled going to San Francisco when he was very young but not remembering much.
When Matthews returned to the Bay Area a second time it was to attend a Raiders game when Rice was a member of the team. Matthews does remember wearing a 49ers hat for that Raiders-Broncos game.
Coach Kyle Shanahan has always expressed that the size of the receiver doesn’t matter as much as their ability to get open. Matthews believes that is one of the reasons the team signed him.
“I feel like I do three things really well,” Matthews said. “I get open, I catch the ball, and I’m going to block in the run game. I feel like whenever I’ve been put in a position to make plays, I go out and make them.
“Last year, going back to Philly, there were opportunities out there that they gave me, and every single time they gave me an opportunity, I made sure I capitalized on it.”
The 49ers have been on Matthews radar for a while. He spoke about what he has seen from the reviewing corps and how that made San Francisco an attractive landing spot.
“I’m watching film and seeing guys like Trent Taylor have a great year (as a rookie), Kendrick Bourne being able to elevate his game in a short period of time. Even tight end. Look at what (George) Kittle was able to do and how they got him in space.
“Marquise Goodwin is a player I’ve watched for a long time. When he came here, it seemed like his career really emerged. And so I feel like they do a ton of stuff just to get guys in open space, and that’s what I pride myself on. I’m going to get open. I’m going to catch the ball. I’m going to help the team win.”
Matthews has missed some time on the field due to injury but was adamant that he is currently healthy.
“I’m feeling good,” Matthews said. “I’m feeling as good as I did coming into the league. This whole place is electric right now. Just walking into the building, you can tell there’s a lot of excitement around the 49ers.”
Matthews is reuniting with former teammate Miles Austin, who is now a member of the 49ers coaching staff. The two played together while members of the Eagles in 2015.
"I told Austin, I feel like I’m 22 again walking around here," Matthews said. "I’m excited to get to work and get to know the guys in the locker room and try to build a winning culture.”