The Saints have added Rishard Matthews to their 90-man roster. This isn’t a show-stopping signing, but Matthews has done enough that he’ll be worth a peek in August – see if he can get back to how he was playing a few years back.

With both Miami and Tennessee in the not-too-distant past, Matthews was one of the most statistically effective wide receivers in the league. He best season came in 2016, when he caught 65 passes for 945 yards and 9 TDs.

Matthews averaged 54 catches in the three seasons prior to last year. That’s not particularly note-worthy, but he did so with unusual efficiency. Matthews in those seasons caught 63 percent of the passes thrown his way and averaged 14.9 yards per catch. Factoring in incompletions, Matthews averaged 9.4 yards per target in those three season. That’s not a stat that tends to get mentioned much, but that’s good – very good. In the 2015-2017 seasons, only two wide receivers with more targets finished with even better efficiency, and they’re both headliner-type guys – Julio Jones and Brandon Cooks.

Of the 63 wide receivers with at least 200 targets in those seasons, only two others averaged more yards per target than Matthews. Pretty impressive, and Matthews managed that production despite working with a pair of lesser passers (Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota).

Julio Jones, Atl.4803074,72415.4179.84
Sammy Watkins, tms2181272,07016.3199.50
Adam Thielen, Minn.2521722,38713.999.47
Brandin Cooks, tms3602273,39314.9249.43
Rishard Matthews, tms2561612,40214.9179.38
Doug Baldwin, Sea.3442473,18812.9299.27
DeSean Jackson, tms2391362,20116.2119.21
Antonio Brown, Pitt.5103434,65113.6319.12
Marvin Jones, tms3131812,84715.7179.10
Willie Snead, N.O.2211491,97113.278.92
A.J. Green, Cin.3752273,33914.7228.90
T.Y. Hilton, Ind.3982173,53816.3158.89
Michael Thomas, N.O.2701962,38212.2148.82
Tyler Lockett, Sea.2061371,81613.398.82
Ted Ginn, tms2621512,27815.1188.69
Terrance Williams, Dall.2321492,00213.478.63
Kenny Britt, tms2261241,93915.6108.58
Keenan Allen, LAC2551752,18112.5108.55
Stefon Diggs, Minn.2912002,47212.4158.49
Odell Beckham, NYG3682223,11914.0268.48
Travis Benjamin, tms2621492,21014.8138.44
Allen Hurns, Jac.2371381,99214.4158.41
DeVante Parker, Mia.2331391,90813.788.19
Amari Cooper, Oak.3582032,90314.3188.11
Kenny Stills, Mia.2491272,01315.9188.08
Robert Woods, tms2411541,94612.698.07
Dontrelle Inman, tms2041181,63913.988.03
Jamison Crowder, Wash.2801922,24011.7128.00
Mike Wallace, tms2801632,23813.7107.99
John Brown, Ariz.2291251,81914.6127.94
Pierre Garcon, tms2921912,31812.197.94
Alshon Jeffery, tms3081632,41714.8157.85
Mohamed Sanu, tms2261591,75011.097.74
Jermaine Kearse, tms2591552,00512.9117.74
Mike Evans, T.B.4572413,52814.6207.72
Danny Amendola, N.E.2021491,55010.497.67
Allen Robinson, Jac.3031542,30014.9207.59
Jeremy Maclin, tms2721712,06412.1137.59
Eric Decker, tms2361431,78412.5157.56
Golden Tate, Det.3832732,89310.6157.55
Marqise Lee, Jac.2331341,74413.077.48
Jordan Matthews, tms2791832,08311.4127.47
Emmanuel Sanders, Den.3652022,72213.5137.46
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.5172853,85313.5287.45
Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.4563253,39410.4217.44
Adam Humphries, T.B.2061431,51310.647.34
Brandon Marshall, tms3341862,44413.1177.32
Julian Edelman, N.E.2471591,79811.3107.28
Devin Funchess, Car.2321171,68414.4177.26
Jordy Nelson, G.B.2401501,73911.6207.25
Demaryius Thomas, Den.4612783,33612.0167.24
Jarvis Landry, Mia.4583163,28010.4177.16
Cole Beasley, Dall.2361631,68310.3147.13
Brandon LaFell, tms2701531,92512.697.13
Davante Adams, G.B.3321992,36511.9237.12
Donte Moncrief, Ind.2081201,43111.9156.88
Randall Cobb, G.B.3052052,09210.2146.86
Nelson Agholor, Phil.2081211,41611.7116.81
Dez Bryant, Dall.3001502,03513.6176.78
Anquan Boldin, tms2061361,37310.1126.67
Michael Crabtree, Oak.3922322,54311.0256.49
Kamar Aiken, tms2211191,40511.866.36
Tavon Austin, LAR2151231,0298.484.79

Let’s not get too excited about Matthews. The Titans soured on him last year, not making him a big part of their offense. After Matthews was on the field for only about half of their plays in each of their first three games, he asked for his release and was granted it. He signed with the Jets and didn’t play much more there, finishing the season with only 5 catches in nine games.

Matthews is a 29-year-old with limited speed – a former seventh-round draft pick – and hasn’t generated any interest as a free agent. He signed with the Saints only after trying out with them as their recently minicamp.

Most likely Matthews won’t even make the 53-man roster. But if Matthews can get back to how he was playing a few years back, he could surprise and be one of their top 3 wide receivers at some point this year. Worth a look (but not worth a fantasy roster spot right now in any format that I’m aware of).

—Ian Allan