Patriots gridiron news: Jordan Matthews ready to grow as a player

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Jordan Matthews
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Jordan Matthews /

Recently signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews was introduced to the New England Patriots media last week and had some interesting things to say about his new team. 

It is good to know the Patriot Way still attracts players to the New England Patriots.

While the Rob Gronkowski’s and Tom Brady’s off the world appear exhausted of how the ship is run in Foxboro, players like newly acquired wide receiver Jordan Matthews see it as an opportunity to grow as an individual and as a player.

Speaking to the media last week, Matthews gushed about the hard work and dedication he sees in New England, which were main reasons for his desire to sign with the Patriots.

"“Probably the biggest reason was I knew this was the best opportunity for me to grow as a player,” Matthews told the media.  “I had some other teams that contacted me that I visited.  I knew just as a player and as a man – I’m recently married.  I’m about to have my first child.  I don’t feel like I’m called to be comfortable and I knew this would be a great place for me to grow, not only as a player, but as a man in general.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the guys and really getting to work this whole offseason.”"

Despite losing Danny Amendola via free agency and trading away Bradin Cooks, the New England Patriots are still deep at the wide receiver position.  Matthews is certainly no lock to make the team, but that appears to be his motivation.

Following a down year in Buffalo last season, Jordan Matthews is looking to return to the player he was while in Philadelphia.  He will get that chance catching the ball from Tom Brady, who he admitted he has not talked to yet, and playing in an offensive system created for players with his skillset.

Competition is a great thing

Overall, the competition at wide receiver is what drives Matthews in his hopes to thrive in New England.

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"“I think it’s [the competition] the best thing ever,” he said.  “I think that’s what’s really going to breed greatness in all of us.  At the end of the day, if you don’t have that type of competition then that’s the easiest way that guys start saying, ‘OK, this guy’s a rookie.  This guy’s young.  This guy has no production.’  But I feel like we have a group of a lot of guys that are not just competitors, but they have had production in the league so they’ve proven it.  So, it’s not just, “OK, this guy has potential.’  No, there’s a lot of production, so I think that’s one thing to really be excited about.  But also, there are a lot of great guys.  I’ve spent some time around Julian [Edelman], talking to him, so I can’t wait to meet the rest of them.”"

Speaking of Julian Edelman, Matthews touched on whether he feels he can co-exist as a slot receiver with Edelman.  With the veteran receiver returning from an ACL tear, Matthews admitted it is too early to even think about that.  He did reveal his comfort in playing anywhere the team needs him.

That versatility and mindset will go a long way with a team like the Patriots.  And so will having the type of stability at quarterback like his new team has with Tom Brady playing behind center.

A plea for Dez Bryant 

Oh, that depth at wide receiver Jordan Matthews talked about could get even deeper if new teammate Marquis Flowers gets his way.

Following the release of star wide receiver Dez Bryant from the Dallas Cowboys, many players around the NFL has pitched for the veteran receiver to join their teams.  Flowers jumped into the recruitment process via Twitter simply writing: “DEZ COME CHECK FOXBORO OUT BIG DAWG.”

Next: New England Patriots 2018 NFL mock draft: Projecting the first 3 rounds

While Dez Bryant in New England is intriguing, the Patriots may not have the money to sign him unless he is willing to take less to prove he still has what it takes to be a top receiver in the NFL.