Seahawks release Super Bowl XLIXX standout Chris Matthews, promote Kevin Smith to active roster

With his role as the big receiver increasingly going to Jimmy Graham, Matthews was viewed as a one-trick pony whose job could be adequately filled by others. Smith, a former University of Washington product who starred in training camp, could see action at receiver and on special teams.

Serving as a cold reminder that last year's magical return to the championship game means little today, the Seahawks released Super Bowl XLIX standout Chris Matthews Tuesday.

The 6-5, 218 pound Matthews caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in a near MVP performance against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, instantly making himself a household name.

Those were his only receptions of last season, however, and he'd caught just four passes for 54 yards in nine games this year.

Matthews' breakout performance against the Patriots had some projecting greatness for the former undrafted free agent out of Kentucky Wildcats but the Seahawks always viewed him as a more of complementary threat than a real candidate to beat out starters Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse or speedsters Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson.

Matthews' great height made him effective against the Patriots' highly aggressive and physical defensive backs in the Super Bowl. However, with the Seahawks increasingly turning to hybrid tight end/wide receiver Jimmy Graham, the 26-year old Matthews was deemed expendable.

The Seahawks wasted no time in filling Matthews spot on the roster, promoting Kevin Smith, another former undrafted receiver, from the practice squad.

Smith a former Washington Huskies product, nearly made the team outright following a terrific training camp. Though he's significantly shorter than Matthews, the 6-0, 218 pound Smith offers some of the same traits -- including the imposing frame to handle press coverage, as well as impressive body control and hand-eye coordination to make difficult receptions. 

Further, he's quicker and possesses better straight-line speed - traits that could help Seattle not only in the passing game but on special teams, as well.

Smith and the Seahawks will host the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at CenturyLink.

Should he clear waivers, Matthews will be a free agent and can sign with any team.


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