During their time in Seattle, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have proven they'll add talent from anywhere they can find it. They've made big splashes in free agency and the trade market, found starters both early and late in the NFL Draft and even signed a handful of successful reclamation projects. Seattle's latest move once again took them to Canada when they signed former CFL wide receiver Chris Matthews.
Headlined by Cameron Wake, a few players have successfully made the transition from the CFL to the NFL in recent seasons. Seattle grabbed Brandon Browner from the CFL while Andrew Hawkins has enjoyed success since joining the Bengals. Matthews will now get an opportunity to join those players in the NFL. Although his signing caused just a minor blip on the NFL radar on Tuesday, it could pay off down the road.
As Danny Kelly of Field Gulls noted, Matthews is an intriguing player. At 6'5 and 219 pounds, he has unique size for a wide receiver. He didn't get much of a look in the NFL coming out of Kentucky, going undrafted before signing with the Browns. After being cut, he joined Winnipeg in the CFL and had an excellent first season -- he caught 81 passes for 1,192 yards in 2012. He missed most of last season due to injuries and took the jump to the NFL after his CFL contract expired.
One year of success in the CFL doesn't mean Matthews will all of a sudden be a star in the NFL. Instead, he's a flyer pickup who won't cost much if he doesn't make the roster, but is worth taking a chance on. Seattle has had success finding receivers from the scrap heap, with undrafted free agents Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse playing a significant role in Seattle's Super Bowl run. Whether Matthews can have similar success remains to be seen, although Kelly expects him to get an opportunity to use his unique skill set:
As for Matthews' possible role in the offense - look at what Sidney Rice was brought in to do. Sidney Rice is/was valuable for the Seahawks for two main reasons - his excellent catch radius and ability to grab high/low passes that most players could not, and his very underrated blocking in the run game. Assuming Rice becomes a cap casualty, it will be interesting to see if Matthews can make any noise in these two areas.
It's been an interesting 12 months for DeAngelo Hall. Less than a year after being released by Washington and eventually signing a one-year deal to return to the team, Hall agreed to a four-year extension with the Redskins on Tuesday. The deal is reportedly worth between $4-5 million per season. With a flooded cornerback free agent market, Hall did well to secure a multi-year payday, despite being 30 years old.
Tony Gonzalez has officially moved on to his post-playing days, signing a deal with CBS to become an NFL analyst on The NFL Today while also participating in some of the network's other platforms. In addition to adding Gonzalez, CBS also announced that Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe will not return to the pregame show. As Dave Choate of the Falcoholic noted, the move officially ends any speculation that Gonzalez might return next season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a new look next season with the franchise set to unveil a new logo and helmet on Thursday. The big unveil will be made by Warren Sapp and Gerald McCoy on NFL Network. The new designs will represent the first changes to the Bucs helmet since the team went to the current look in 1997.
The NFL offseason is a time for players to get away, relax and pursue some interests outside of football. For Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, that meant hosting the Hall of Game Awards on Cartoon Network. As part of the show, Newton and Kaepernick each took a turn at singing the song "Roar" by Katy Perry. David Fucillo of Niners Nation described the performance:
The second segment is their opening "monologue". They again are competing, and this ends with them each singing Roar by Katy Perry. Words cannot describe this. It's brutal but fun.
The "performances" can be seen below.