Evan Mathis Released By Philadelphia Eagles
Evan Mathis has gone from looking for a new contract to looking for a new job.
ESPN is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have officially released Mathis, 33, after the second consecutive offseason where Mathis skipped the Eagles’ Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) in an attempt to force the Eagles into contract renegotiations. Those activities were voluntary. Mathis originally signed a five-year, $25 million contract in 2012 but had grown increasingly unhappy with the terms. Mathis was scheduled to make $5.5 million this year and $6 million next year.
As with last year, the Eagles gave Mathis and agent Drew Rosenhaus permission to find another team to facilitate a trade, but no takers came forward.
Though the Eagles haven’t formally announced the release, both the NFL Network and ESPN have confirmed Mathis’ release.
Mathis sent a goodbye tweet on his Twitter account, saying “Thanks for the memories Philly.”
“Evan’s been available to trade for two years now and we’ve never had an offer for him,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said during the NFL draft. “That’s through his agent and him. They’ve asked if he could renegotiate a contract and see what he could get and we’ve obliged him with that, but we’ve never had an offer.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mathis is the only Eagle who missed all of the voluntary OTAs. If Mathis had missed all of the mandatory OTAs next week, he could have been fined in excess of $70,000.
Mathis was looking to renegotiate his contract to make it more performance-based in an attempt to become the fifth highest-paid guard in the NFL. Mathis’ former contract put him at 12th or 13th. The Eagles had offered Mathis a contract much like he was looking for in September under former general manager Howie Roseman. Roseman was recently let go, and Kelly assumed all football player responsibilities. Neither the Eagles nor Kelly liked the terms of Roseman’s contract offer to Mathis.
Mathis had originally balked at Roseman’s offer. However, Rosenhaus came back to Kelly and the Eagles asking about the contract, only to be informed that Roseman’s contract was no longer available. Teams did discuss possibly trading for Mathis, but any trade talks fell through at the beginning of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Eagles became less inclined to offer Mathis another contract due to the seven games he missed last season due to a knee injury and because he will be 34 this year. Mathis did return to the team for the final eight games and played well enough to be invited to his second straight Pro Bowl, although his blocking skills had noticeably declined.
[Image courtesy of Off the Record Sports]