Is The Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Line A Concern?


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The Philadelphia Eagles are entering the 2015-2016 season with high expectations, but still have questions particularly at the offensive line positions. The Philadelphia Eagles on paper have a top 5 offensive line in the entire league, but with pro bowl left guard Evan Mathis holding out from voluntary OTA’s due to a contract dispute, the team should be concerned with the overall state of the o-line.

The Evan Mathis saga started last season when the veteran guard wanted a new contract. The team gave Mathis and his agent Drew Rosenhaus the option of seeking for a trade, and to explore if those teams would indeed give Mathis the money he thinks he deserves. For the past two years Mathis hasn’t received any serious offers, his agent did say there was one team with interest but the deal never got done.

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The soon to be 34 year old Mathis wants to cash in and the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t budging, and I don’t blame them. After two years of being disgruntled, Mathis has decided to not attend voluntary practices. It’s also being reported that Mathis eventually coming back to the team isn’t as much of a slam dunk as some fans think it isThe possibility of Mathis not returning are increasing with each practice he misses.

As of right now the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line looks like this: Jason Peters at left tackle, Allen Barbre at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Matt Tobin at right guard, and Lane Johnson at right tackle. The team would be starting two question marks at guard. Barbre and Tobin have both flashed good play at times, but have failed to really show the consistency that would inspire more confidence in their abilities.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now stretching their depth with this lineup. The top two backups are now thrust into the starting roles as the team now must rely on guys like Dennis Kelly and Andrew Gardner if Tobin and Barbre were to go down with injury. Both Kelly and Gardner have experience but aren’t the best options to go with. The Eagles offense is predicated on moving the ball and establishing a rhythm, so if the offensive line can’t do its job, that throws a wrench in the Eagles fast break system. What also hurts is the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles have failed to draft any offensive linemen in back to back seasons. This leaves the aging group of linemen without any youth to really count on.

The bottom line is that the Philadelphia Eagles and Evan Mathis are both being extremely stubborn as they both strongly believe where they stand. Head coach Chip Kelly would never say it, but the team needs Evan Mathis to return because the outlook of the o-line greatly changes without Evan. With that being said, Evan Mathis also needs to realize that without the Philadelphia Eagles, Mathis won’t have a job for at least this year anyway. Even if the team releases Mathis, Evan won’t see anything close to what he is making right now with the Eagles.

The state of the offensive line is in flux and the Philadelphia Eagles should be concerned. If Evan Mathis comes back for mandatory practice this all becomes a non issue, but for now this seems to be a real roadblock. The Philadelphia Eagles have had one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL for the past 2 seasons, but the team seems reluctant to give more money to a 34 year old guard who is already scheduled to make 5.5 million dollars this season. Evan Mathis and the team seem far apart from mending the fences, and that obviously isn’t good news.

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