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2018 NFL free agency: Patriots host wide receiver Jordan Matthews, tight end Troy Niklas

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New England hosts a pair of veterans.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While the busy days of free agency are behind us, the New England Patriots are still monitoring the open market to find potential options to add to a 90-man roster that currently has 20 open spots. Two players that apparently are on the team's radar were brought in for visits yesterday as ESPN's Field Yates first reported.

Let's take a closer look at them.

WR Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews entered the NFL in 2014, when he was a second-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. After three seasons with the team, during which he averaged 75 catches, 891 receiving yards and six touchdowns per year, the 6'3 wide receiver was traded to the Buffalo Bills. In Buffalo, however, Matthews failed to find the same success he had had with the Eagles: Due to injuries, he appeared in only 10 games and finished the season with 25 catches for 282 yards and one touchdown – all career-lows for the 25-year old, who works primarily out of the slot.

TE Troy Niklas

10 picks after Matthews was drafted, the Arizona Cardinals invested a second-round pick in Notre Dame's Troy Niklas. The 6'6, 270 lbs tight end spent his entire professional career with the Cardinals but appeared in only 43 games over the past four seasons due to various injuries. When on the field, Niklas served primarily as a special teamer and depth option at the tight end position. As such registered only 19 catches for 203 yards and three touchdowns with 2017 being his most productive season as a pass receiver: The 25-year old hauled in 11 passes for 132 yards and one score.


Considering how quiet of a free agency period it has been for both Matthews and Niklas so far, the belief is that neither would command too much money for the team's liking. Seeing the team bring them in would therefore not be a surprise – although the Patriots might wait to do so until after May 8: Unrestricted free agents signed after that day will no longer count against a team's compensatory draft picks formula.