View the best images of new Vikings LB Casey Matthews from his days as an Eagle.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Casey Matthews is looking forward to joining the Vikings family, especially if it involves facing a family member twice a season.
The former Philadelphia linebacker (2011-14) has agreed to terms with Minnesota, the team announced Tuesday.
"It's great to be here," Matthews told Vikings.com. "I'm looking forward to a new opportunity and a new chapter in my life."
Matthews has played inside and outside linebacker for the Eagles, appearing in all 64 games of his career and starting 11 in 2014 as an inside linebacker. Matthews was credited with 109 tackles and 2.5 sacks on defense and 39 tackles on special teams in four seasons.
A former Oregon Duck and fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Matthews met Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer prior to the draft at the Senior Bowl when Zimmer was defensive coordinator in Cincinnati and the Bengals coached prospects assigned to the North squad.
"I was fortunate enough to have Coach Zimmer coach me in the Senior Bowl, so that was my first opportunity to get to know him and what type of defense he runs," Matthews said. "I'm just looking forward to being part of it. He's highly respected around the league, and former players who have played for him have said they enjoyed playing for him, that he's intense but will tell you like it is and he's likeable."
Matthews became the sixth member of his family to play in the NFL in 2011, joining grandfather Clay, father Clay Jr., brother Clay III, uncle Bruce and cousin Kevin Matthews. Cousin Jake Matthews, a brother of Kevin, became the seventh member of the family to play in the NFL last season.
Minnesota's home-and-away with Green Bay and road game at Atlanta (Jake) in 2015 have three meetings with family members on opposing teams scheduled (Kevin was with Carolina in 2014 and a free agent at the time of this report).
"It's been great, just the amount of success that each one of my family members has had in this league," Casey Matthews said. "I wouldn't say carrying on the family tradition, but it seems to be what's going on. We're each our own individual player, and I'm looking forward to representing the Matthews last name and continuing to play."
The signing comes with less than a month remaining until Vikings players are scheduled to report to Winter Park to begin their offseason workout program on April 20.
Matthews said he looks forward to meeting new teammates and letting them know "what type of player I am and obviously what type of person I'm going to be too."
Matthews said mentality and being around the ball are points of pride at playing linebacker.
"Instincts, really, I think that's what separates myself as a player from other players in this league," Matthews said. "Obviously, going into year five, you know a little bit, you've learned a little bit, so you kind of know what to expect, and I'm looking forward to continuing my career here."