Matthews asked for and received his release from the Tennessee Titans on September 27, which was just over a month after signing a contract extension through the 2019 season. The extension reportedly included a $7.75 million team option following this year but included no guaranteed money, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
He was set to make $5 million this season.
Matthews grabbed 118 receptions with 1,740 yards and 13 touchdowns over the last two seasons while working as Marcus Mariota’s preferred pass-catching option not named Delanie Walker.
Heading into 2018, Matthews had health question marks after suffering what was believed to be a torn meniscus. He missed the Titans’ offseason program and all of training camp before being activated from the physically unable to perform list just before the season’s start.
The Browns have been looking for proven receiver depth before and after trading away Josh Gordon. Rumors have persisted about their intent to sign free agent Dez Bryant, but nothing has progressed on that front since his training camp visit.
Signing Matthews makes a lot of sense given the Browns’ frustration with their inexperienced receiving corps. Rookie Antonio Callaway has shown glimpses but has been wildly inconsistent and unreliable through his first four NFL appearances.
Given he was on the mend entering this season, and he’d be learning a new offense, there’s a chance it would take a few weeks for him to be able to contribute. Even then he might not get back to 100 percent this season, but he’s certainly worth an evaluation.
If they like what they see the Browns should give him an offer before he leaves Berea. Matthews is also scheduled to visit the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday.