The Jordan Matthews Signing is Classic Belichick

I have to confess, when word came down last night that the Patriots signed Jordan Matthews it didn’t move the needle a whole hell of a lot for me. I mean, I thought it was an OK move. Taking a flyer on a player in your division coming off a personal pandemic of injuries last year including a fractured sternum, busted up thumb and season ending knee surgery. My first reaction was that Matthews would be a depth guy brought in to battle it out for a spot with say, Phillip Dorsett. But after sleeping on it, I’m feeling now like this is sneaky the Patriots best move of 2018 so far.

Of course everything I’m about to say presumes that Matthews’ knee is healthy, as Adam Schefter reported it is. If true, then this is the pluperfect Belchickian pick up. A highly drafted (42nd overall) veteran, coming off a down year, signing a short term deal to re-establish himself, chase a ring and then cash in. While these are not all apples-to-apples comparisons, that is the formula that got us Chris Long, Martellus Bennett, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Corey Dillon and a slew of other guys that now have a box with a ring in it inside their wall safes.

And consider Matthews’ production since being taken 22 slots after Brandin Cooks in 2014:

Bear in mind that those slot receiving yards came on passes from, alternately, the soon-to-be-playing-his-way-out-of-Philly Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, the 16 TD/14 INT incarnation of Carson Wentz and Tyrod Taylor. And allow yourself to imagine what he can do with Tom Brady, the best friend any slot receiver ever had, and with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski drawing all the attention. So they lose Danny Amendola – which still pains me, I won’t lie to you – but they replace him with a guy who’s not only put up those numbers but is a 6-foot-3, 215 lb. legit red zone target with two 8 touchdown seasons and these attributes:

And officially this makes it a true Patriots off-season. Another exercise in Zen-like patience that starts out horribly before finally turning around and ending spectacularly. All five of the Patriots championships have been built on moves like this Matthews signing. It’s the kind of thing that turns a C+ off-season into an A. The only question that remains is, how many more Jordan Matthews are still out there for the Patriots to sign before camp begins?