Seahawks Insider Blog

After Super Bowl breakout, how much is Chris Matthews an option at wide receiver in 2015?

It didn't register as anything more than a roster move at the time, just another promotion to the active roster. But when the Seahawks signed Chris Matthews off their practice squad on December 6, they as a procedure added a second season to the non-vested wide receiver's contract. He is currently signed for 2015 at $510,000.

How much will he and they put that contract to use this fall?

Matthews recovered the onside kick late in regulation that allowed Seattle to take the lead in its eventual overtime win over Green Bay in the NFC championship game Jan. 18. Then he made his first four NFL catches for a stunning, game-high 109 yards and a tying touchdown late in the first half of Super Bowl 49.

When 16 select members of the media cast their votes for Super Bowl most valuable player with about 6 minutes left in the game, Matthews was a leading candidate. Had Seattle scored from the 1-yard line and beaten New England instead of Russell Wilson throwing the game-ending interception with 20 seconds remaining, the former Canadian league player who had jobs as a security guard and at Foot Locker 12 months earlier would likely now be a national star as one of the most unlikely MVPs in Super Bowl history. He'd have a new truck, a trip to Disney World -- everything but the angst he has fueling him now instead.

"I don't know how I'll get over it. But I will," Matthews said last week of that sudden Super Bowl change and loss. "If I have to work out with guys two, three times a day, then that's the way it has to be to put myself in position to be ready to play."

So just how much did Matthews enhance his position to play for Seattle's offense on a regular basis next season?

It's likely the Seahawks have "upgrade wide receiver" near the top of their to-do list they are taking with them next week to the NFL combine in Indianapolis. And the Super Bowl showed why coach Pete Carroll values height at the position.

Wilson had completed just one pass through the first 25 minutes against New England before he threw a jump ball up for the 6-foot-5 Matthews in the second quarter. Matthews walled off Patriots 5-10 cornerback Kyle Arrington for a 44-yard catch that set up Seattle's first score.

With 6 seconds to go in the half, Wilson threw another high pass that Matthews twisted to catch just inside the goal line. That tied the Super Bowl at 14.

After Wilson threw another jump ball Matthews easily brought down over the top of 5-10 Devin McCourty on the first drive of the third quarter to set up Seattle's go-ahead field goal, New England's tall, rugged defensive back Brandon Browner convinced his coaches to move him to covering Matthews. Matthews had one catch for 9 yards over the final 28 minutes.

So the moral of the Super Bowl seemed to be: As long as he isn't being defended by 6-4 maulers, Matthews could have a prominent place in the Seahawks' offense in 2015.

"I'm not surprised. He'd shown the ability to do that all season. He just never got the opportunities," said teammate Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks' No. 1 receiver heading into this offseason. "He's going to be a part of it moving forward. Looking forward to everything he can add to our receiving corps and everything in getting better."

Matthews said he could have been doing that all season. But the Seahawks waived him among their final cuts on Aug. 30. They signed him to their practice squad, but released him from it on Sept. 3, the day before the opener. They signed him back to the practice squad Oct. 29, released him from it Nov. 4 and signed him back to the practice squad again Nov. 18 before the promotion to the active roster Dec. 6.

"I feel like I could have done that. but it's not up to me. It's up to the coaches. They felt like I wasn't ready at that time," Matthews said. "There was nothing I could do about it.

"They finally gave me the opportunity. And I thank them for it."

He said last week, two days after the game, that he really hadn't considered how close he was to going from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2012 and '13 then from Seattle's practice squad in '14 to becoming the Super Bowl MVP in a seven-week span.

“No, I haven’t thought about that,’’ he said. “I wasn’t thinking about that. What I was thinking about was winning.

"I wanted to win that Super Bowl bad. Me being perfectly honest, I don’t think anybody wanted it as bad as I did, especially coming from where I did. ... A lot of other guys here, they have a Super Bowl ring."

Did the Super Bowl breakout surprise him, give him renewed confidence for this offseason and the 2015 season?

"No," Matthews said, flatly, "because I've always had confidence in myself. I've always had confidence in my game play.

"What I did in the Super Bowl doesn't change me or make me feel any different."

We'll see if it's made the Seahawks feel any different about what to do with their wide-receiving unit this offseason -- or Matthews in 2015.

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