The Seahawks have signed former University of Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith from their practice squad and waived wide receiver Chris Matthews.
Matthews had the first four catches, first touchdown and his first 109 yards receiving of his NFL career in a crazy, breakout performance in Super Bowl 49 Feb. 1. As league staffers collected ballots for Super Bowl Most Valuable Player inside the press box with about 6 minutes left in the game and Seattle leading 24-21, it appeared Matthews would win the honor if the Seahawks held on to win the game.
We all know what happened after that.
This past offseason coach Pete Carroll said the 6-foot-5 Matthews, signed out of the Canadian Football League in February of 2014, would get every chance to be Seattle’s third receiver in a big, physical role. Then 5-10 rookie Tyler Lockett sped past him on Seattle’s depth chart this preseason. He’s been a forgotten man since then, with just four catches this season. It was a good game for him if he had even one target.
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The Pacific Northwest will always remember him for his recovery of an onside kick late in regulation of January’s NFC championship game. It allowed Seattle to come all the way back from 16-0 down to Green Bay and eventually win a second straight trip to the Super Bowl in overtime.
The fact the Seahawks waived him while wide receiver Paul Richardson was re-injured with a hamstring problem one game after coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list shows how far Matthews had fallen out of Seattle’s plans.
Smith has become a coaches’ favorite by just working and working since Seattle signed him first last year as an undrafted free agent and again this past offseason. He was impressive during this past preseason.
At least one of his fans from Smith’s time as a student teacher at Seattle’s Green Lake Elementary while he was still at UW is thrilled with his promotion: