They reminded him that the window of being an NFL player is much smaller than as a manager at Walmart or any company. Those jobs would always be there. A chance to play football wouldn’t.
At 6-foot2, 196 pounds, Matthew has the frame NFL teams crave at the position. He lists the usual suspects of star players over the years he’d like to emulate – Jalen Ramsey, Patrick Peterson, Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson – hoping that at some point, he too can make his NFL mark.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said it is the players that face adversity – that haven’t had a storybook high school and college career – that tend to be better prepared for the challenge of pro football.
“I think that can be a real advantage for him if he approaches his opportunity the right way,” Kingsbury said.
Matthew is 25, about six weeks older than Jeff Gladney, about 14 months older than Murphy and more than two years older than Marco Wilson, the presumed top three cornerbacks on the roster at the moment.
With that age comes some maturity – “I’ll make sure I get to sleep and not up all night playing video games” – but he can’t help but laugh when it’s brought up that he is “old” in his position room.
“You think about it, no other occupation starting off at 25 is old,” Matthew said. “Of course, in the NFL, it gets poked a little bit.”
That’s OK with Matthew. He wants to use that too to his advantage, just like he plans on using some of the skills that almost got him his managerial position with the team. As a manager, he said, you have to hold yourself accountable first before your team. That definitely can translate.
Maybe, after all, this football gig will work on his resumé as a future manager just as well as that potential position at Walmart.
“(This is) a forever thing,” Matthew said. “No matter what happens, that (draft) phone call definitely changed my life.”