Seahawks sign ex-Cat Matthews, CFL's top rookie in 2012

The Seattle TimesFebruary 18, 2014 

Charleston Southern Kentucky Football

Kentucky's Chris Matthews, right, escapes the grasp of Charleston Southern's Chris Kuzdale for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010.


SEATTLE — The Seahawks signed a receiver with an intriguing background Tuesday, 2012 Canadian Football League rookie of the year Chris Matthews.

Matthews, a 6-foot-5, 227-pounder who played at the University of Kentucky, caught 81 passes for 1,192 yards in 2012 for Winnipeg. Injuries held him to just 14 catches in his second season in 2013.

The Seahawks, known to be searching for big receivers, saw enough to give him another shot, hoping to hit again with a CFL import as they did a few years ago with cornerback Brandon Browner.

Matthews was in camp with the Cleveland Browns in 2011 as an undrafted free agent before being released in the final cut to 53.

He is a native of Los Angeles and played at Dorsey High and then Los Angeles Harbor College before landing at Kentucky, where he had 61 catches for 925 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2010.

Seattle's only receiver in 2013 taller than 6-2 was 6-4 Sidney Rice, who played just eight games last season before suffering a knee injury. Rice is due to make $8.5 million next season and is unlikely to return on that contract, either being released or coming back on a restructured deal.

Golden Tate is an unrestricted free agent and likely to have a few options, and Doug Baldwin will be a restricted free agent.

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