Right before the hour-long sit-down with Chip Kelly at the owners meeting this morning, with the DeSean Jackson trade talk on top of everyone’s mind, Ian Rapoport reported that Mathis wants a raise and that the Eagles, in turn, have made it known that the guard is available via trade. A league source confirmed the report.
The 32-year-old has three years remaining on his deal and is scheduled to make a base salary of $5 million this season.
If Mathis is in fact clamoring for a new contract, he hasn’t spoken to Kelly directly, the coach said.
“I think that’s just the nature of what our league is like. In professional sports there is a short amount of time that guys have to play this game and they’re trying to get what they can, and I certainly understand where they’re coming from. And part of being the general manager, cap people, is fitting that all together,” said Kelly.
“Do I worry about Evan? No. Evan, you talk about go-to-work lunch pail mentality, that’s Evan Mathis. I don’t worry about Evan from that standpoint.”
A trade makes little sense for either party. Mathis was somewhat of a journeyman before finding success in Philadelphia. He has since built a reputation as one of the premiere guards in the league. He seems particularly fond of this coaching and training staff, is an advocate for the sports science initiatives, and is part of a tightly-knit offensive line group. And why would the Eagles want to move on from him? He has started 47 of a possible 48 games since being signed in 2011 and is coming off a first-team All-Pro campaign.
This could very well be posturing on both sides.
“Evan has been since Day 1 since I got here, just outstanding, whether it’s in the meeting rooms, in the weight room, on the practice field — he practices every day. He may have played the most snaps in the league last year…I don’t worry about the player. But I don’t think there’s one player in the league that will say, ‘Nope, I’m good. I don’t need anything else.’ But they don’t bring that to work.”
Or he doesn’t anticipate that Mathis will, at least.