It’s become clear that head coach Chip Kelly isn’t “sitting on his hands” now that he has full control of the roster in Philadelphia. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Philadelphia Eagles are “working to trade” Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis. This may come as a shock to many but it was certainly a move that I was well prepared for and honestly expecting.
Personally, I was prepared for anything after what’s already happened this offseason with Kelly in control. He clearly is trying to bring “his guys” in to Philadelphia and Mathis was the only starting lineman remaining that hasn’t been drafted or extended since Kelly has been hired. It’ll be tough to see Mathis go, if he is indeed traded but it’s a business above all else and we as fans should know that. There is plenty of talent at guard in this year’s draft, which could be the Eagles primary need at this point.
You may or may not remember that this time last year (as seen below), that the Eagles were trying to trade Mathis then as well. Although he is Pro Bowl caliber player that may actually be the best guard in the league. He’s 33 years old and you just have to wonder how much longer he’ll be able to keep playing at such a high level.
After the release of guard Todd Herremans, many believed that was the only move they would make along the offensive line this offseason. But Mathis missed 7 games last year with a knee injury. Sure he bounced back from the injury and continued playing at a high level but if the Eagles can get value for him, now may be the best chance to do so.
According to CBS NFL insider Jason LaCanfora, there are already multiple teams showing interest in the Eagles guard including the Dolphins, Vikings, Bills, Rams and possibly even the Saints. That’s quite a long list of teams so if Chip Kelly can start holding an “auction” for Mathis’ services, they might be able to bring in quite a haul to Philadelphia. If Mathis could net the Eagles a player such as Dolphins’ defensive end and former Oregon Duck Dion Jordan, that’d be huge. Also a player like wide receiver Tavon Austin from the Rams or wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Saints would fill a need as well.
It’s clear the Eagles still have some needs, even after signing running back DeMarco Murray. While trading Mathis would leave the Eagles without both of their opening day starters at guard from 2014, they would free up $6,500,000 in cap space by making the move. Of course it will be tough for Eagles’ fans to move on from Mathis, especially since he has such a fantastic Twitter account, it may be a move that’s best for the future of the franchise.
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