"We appreciate what he's done for the team over the last couple of years," Robinson said. "He reached out to me on Monday and asked to be released or traded."
The Titans tried to trade Matthews, but Robinson said the market was not there so they decided to release him. Despite Robinson's belief that Matthews was working his way back toward a key role on the offense, the veteran wideout felt like he needed to move on. According to Robinson, Matthews reached the point of no return on Monday.
Matthews was Marcus Mariota's top remaining option after tight end Delanie Walker suffered a dislocated ankle in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Robinson refused to reveal any financial ramifications of the move, saying it was a confidential matter.
Matthews caught 118 passes for 1,740 yards and 13 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Before his release, Matthews posted only three receptions for 11 yards through three games this season. Releasing Matthews means the remaining group of young wideouts led by Corey Davis will have to play a bigger role.
"Guys are going to have to continue to make plays whether it's Taywan [Taylor], or Corey [Davis] or Darius [Jennings] or Tajae [Sharpe]. Those guys are going to have to step up," Robinson said.
Tennessee's roster sits at 52 players, which is one short of the 53-man roster limit. Robinson said they are going through some options as far as adding a veteran player. The Titans don't intend to make a move this late in the week, although that could change. Head coach Mike Vrabel and Robinson will continue to discuss as they get ready for their matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Matthews' former teammates don't seem to feel that he quit on the team. Taylor called Matthews his brother and said he wishes him the best.
"I am not too sure what the situation is. I can't go into too many details because I don't know," Sharpe added. "He's definitely one of the leaders in this offense. He made a lot of plays for us and we are going to miss him, but we can't look back. We have to get rolling. Everybody in the receiver room has to step it up collectively."