Who trades away a Pro Bowl offensive lineman? It looks like the Philadelphia Eagles are, putting Evan Mathis on the trading block, and considering cutting him completely if there are no offers worth considering.
Mathis, 33, has been ranked by Pro Football Focus as the number one guard in the NFL from 2011 to 2013, and was ranked at number two last season. He did miss seven games last season which might be helping Chip Kelly make the decision about the left guard who has been with the team since 2011, but might this all be about that aggressive rebuild scheme we’ve seen going on?
At CSNPhilly.com, Geoff Mosher seems to be quite confident this is all about getting more cap space and younger. Mathis isn’t very expensive, with a $6.5 million cap hit this season and $7 million for 2016. Sending him somewhere else would save the Eagles $4.5 million if it happens this offseason, but is that worth the money? Losing a two-time Pro Bowl guard and an All-Pro in 2013?
Kelly clearly seems to think that it’s his system that works, not the players who fill it. Mathis, to Kelly’s defense, wasn’t once selected to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team in the eight seasons before his arrival from Oregon. His system is clearly very helpful to a number of players in specific offensive positions, but hasn’t Mathis proved he makes sense?
It’s hard making sense of what the Eagles are doing this offseason. More than anything, it look like Kelly is trying to make this team his own as quickly as possible while lowering the costs and the average age of players, regardless of past achievements. This is a huge gamble that could seriously backfire on the head coach, as moving Mathis away is another one of those decisions that will be seen as highly controversial by the fan base.