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Pack alum Rishard Matthews retires from NFL in emotional Instagram post

Rishard Matthews
Rishard Matthews has retired from the NFL. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

Rishard Matthews, a key member of Nevada's historic 2010 season, appears to be retiring after seven seasons in the NFL.

In an emotional Instagram post Monday morning, the 29-year-old Matthews said the NFL had given him and his family "so much, but that no longer exists."

"It was cool being a professional football player and getting to play a kids game for work," Matthews went on to write (view the full post here). "I will always be a fan of the best sport in the world but for me that kids game no longer exist."

Matthews played with four teams in his NFL career. A seven-round pick by Miami in 2012, he logged time with the Dolphins, Titans, Jets and Saints. Matthews was released by the Saints over the weekend.

In his career, Matthews caught 230 passes for 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns, all the second-best marks for a Nevada alum in the NFL behind Nate Burleson. Matthews' best seasons came in 2016 when he caught 65 passes for 945 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2017, he caught 53 passes for 795 yards and four scores. But he fell down the depth chart in Tennessee last year and then asked for his release, which was granted.

Between Tennessee and New York last season, Matthews caught five passes for 24 yards. He signed with the Saints this offseason after a workout with the team but was unable to stick through training camp.

"Rishard Matthews the football player No Longer Exist and it's okay," Matthews wrote in his Instagram post. "In life regardless of the right or wrong decisions I've made I've always moved forward with the understanding that regardless of what I'm going through someone is going through something a s--- ton worse than my bull----."

Matthews played for Nevada from 2010-11 after two seasons of junior-college ball. He caught 147 passes for 2,243 yards and 13 touchdowns with the Wolf Pack, including a senior season in which he hauled in 91 passes for 1,364 yards and eight touchdowns. He's the last Nevada player to have a 1,000-yard reception season.

Matthews was the MVP of the 2010 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl win over Boston College after catching seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown in the 20-13 victory. In the Wolf Pack's 34-31 overtime win over No. 3 Boise State, the best victory in program history, Matthews caught 10 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown and also had a 44-yard touchdown run.



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