Wide receiver Jordan Matthews met the media on Thursday for the first time since signing with the Patriots as a free agent and said that he felt New England offered “the best opportunity for me to grow as a player” of any team that showed interest in signing him this offseason.
In order for Matthews to grow as a player, he’ll have to actually get on the field and neither the contract he signed nor the other receivers on hand offer much in the way of a guarantee that Matthews will even make the team out of camp this summer. Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt and Cordarrelle Patterson are also on hand at receiver, but Matthews sees the competition for spots as a positive.
“I think it’s the best thing ever,” Matthews said in comments distributed by the team. “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.”
Matthews was asked later if he’s most comfortable as a slot receiver and said he feels equally at home inside or outside. Showing that kind of versatility on the field would be a plus as he tries to carve out a niche in the Patriots offense.