We missed out on War Story Wednesday again, so we’re going to have a two-part War Story that starts on Friday and continues until Monday.
After WO Chris Matthews had a great Super Bowl last weekend, I did a little research on him. Turns out his agent and the then-CFL scout who ‘discovered’ him are both good friends, so I turned to each of them to tell Chris’ story. Here’s Rodney’s story. On Monday, we’ll tell it from the perspective of former Winnipeg Director of Player Personnel Ken Moll.
Today, we’ll start with Rodney Edwards, his agent. I asked him to tell the story of Chris’ road from undrafted free agent to two other leagues before starring on the big stage.
“Chris signed as an undrafted free agent with the Browns after the (2011) draft, and he went to the last cut. He didn’t make the practice squad and got cut. Then he got a two-game suspension on a prescription with codeine that he took for a toothache, so no teams picked him up, and we couldn’t get him a tryout. So he went back home, and I think he worked at Foot Locker in Los Angeles.
“Then he went to the Arena League, I think with the Iowa Barnstormers, and played maybe eight games. Then he went to Canada, to Winnipeg, in the spring. There, a scout (Winnipeg Director of Player Personnel Ken Moll) saw him and said he wanted to take a look at him, and wanted to know, was he still in Kentucky? I told him no, he’s playing Arena. So they brought him to Canada — I tell all my free agent guys to get their passport so if they get the call to go to Canada, they can go – and he went to minicamp with them. They signed him, and when the CFL season started, he went to camp and made the cut.
“That year, he had about 1,000 yards receiving, 81 catches and 14 TDs, and he was the CFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Then the next season, a lot of teams came and looked at him from the NFL, and I thought he was going to get bought out of his contract but he wasn’t. So we went into the (CFL) season, and could never get back on track. He had several nagging injuries — a shoulder, butt, and ankle injury — and I think he finished the season with like maybe 200, 300 yards receiving, if that. He was kind of worried he’d have to stay in the CFL, and I told him I wouldn’t do another CFL deal.
“So our first workout was with Indianapolis, and our second was with Minnesota. Then he went to Kansas City, then Green Bay, then Seattle. Seattle was his last workout. (The workouts were) like boom, boom, boom, one after another, even while I was on vacation. NFL teams had wanted to wait until the (CFL) season was over, so they worked him out starting in February, and it went all the way up until April, and (Seattle) resigned him right before the NFL draft.
“He made the practice squad the first week, then they cut him and sent him home. Then they brought him back, and I don’t remember the date. Then they cut him again, and he worked out for Washington. Washington didn’t sign him, so the Seahawks brought him back, then cut him again. I think the Seahawks cut him four times (total). So then he worked out for the Giants but didn’t sign, and finally the Seahawks signed him in October, latter part or in early November, and he was on the roster ever since.
“I didn’t really have to bug teams (to get him workouts), but when it first initially started, I called several teams. After Indianapolis called back and we got a workout, after that first workout, I told others, ‘he’s starting to get interest, and if you’re interested, you need to get in this pool, he’s gonna make a decision pretty soon,’ and several teams called but never could schedule workouts, and after the Seattle workout he signed.”