The Patriots released WR Jordan Matthews Wednesday after he hurt his hamstring at practice on Sunday. This news is disappointing for a receiving core that appears in flux. Atop the depth chart are WR Julian Edelman (suspended for the first four games) and Chris Hogan who played in only nine games a year ago and caught just 34 balls. The competition for the other receiver spots is wide open with Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley McCarron, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Devin Lucien, Paul Turner and Braxton Berrios all competing for three or four spots. This news was disappointing for Matthews who spent his first three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and played for the Buffalo Bills last year. Matthews had high hopes that he could revive his career in New England. The Pats have expressed an interest in Eric Decker. Decker had 54 catches a year ago for the Tennessee Titans. Former Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is still unsigned. Bryant had 69 catches for the Cowboys last year. Bryant had 531 catches in eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Bryant would add a deep threat to a wide receiving core that lacks one at the moment.
Other Notes: Chris Hogan had an impressive catch in practice down the sideline. DE Adrian Clayborn demonstrated the transient nature of the NFL when asked about having to adjust again to a new team. Clayborn was previously with the Atlanta Falcons. Before that he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "It's only my third team in eight years," Clayborn said. Clayborn, who is soft spoken, has learned a lot from Belichick. Clayborn said he had great respect for the Pats before he even signed with them. Clayborn should be an important factor if the Pats want to improve their pass rush in 2018. Clayborn had 9.5 sacks last season and has 30 sacks in his career. Deatrich Wise's grasp of the defense continues to improve and Bill Belihcick said no one works harder than Wise and DE Derek Rivers. Belichick on what he saw in LB Kyle Van Noy before trading for Van Noy from Detroit in 2016
"Well we evaluated him coming out of the draft and then there’s an opportunity to watch him at points at Detroit and the things that he was asked to do there. Now, that was in a different system. But, when you put it all together and talking to Bob [Quinn] (Detroit Lions General Manager) about the situation they were in and what Kyle was for them, those were all parts of the conversation and decision.
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee), Cyrus Jones (PUP), Jon Jones (PUP), Kenny Britt (PUP), Nate Ebner (PUP), Mike Gillislee, Keion Crossen, and Matthew Slater (PUP) were absent from practice Wednesday and worked out on the rehab field. Rookie RB Sony Michel and OL Marcus Cannon left practice.
A sign that some of us (including yours truly) are getting old. Most of the players on the Pats roster were born in the 1990s. Some of the rookies were born in 1996, which was the year Bill Parcells led the Pats to the Super Bowl against Green Bay. Drew Bledsoe might as well be Otto Graham to these rookies. The Pats practice on Thursday at about 9:30 a.m. in the morning at Gillette Stadium