After Much Thought, Mathis To Report

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Evan Mathis was contemplating a holdout.

He is not happy with his current deal and was considering not showing for the start of training camp as recently as this week. Ultimately, though, the All-Pro left guard decided that continuing to do the right thing for the team was the best course of action. He arrived at the NovaCare on Thursday and told Birds 24/7 that he will officially report with the rest of his teammates Friday.

Word first surfaced at the owners meetings in March that agent Drew Rosenhaus had approached management about re-doing the guard’s deal. The Eagles declined and suggested that Rosenhaus look for trade partners for his client. There were some exploratory talks with other teams but nothing ever got serious.

Much of the issue surrounds the lack of guaranteed money. The 32-year-old signed a five-year, $25 million contract in March of 2012 that included $6 million in guarantees. Three years remain on the deal and all of the guaranteed cash is gone.

His 2014 salary of $5.15 million is seventh among guards according to spotrac. Mathis’ guaranteed money, though, pales in comparison to some of his peers. Tampa’s Carl Nicks, for instance, has $25 million in guarantees; Logan Mankins $21.5 million; Andy Levitre of the Titans has $13 million; Jahri Evans of the Saints gets $12 million; and so on. Meanwhile, line mates Jason Peters ($15.75 million guaranteed)  and Jason Kelce ($13 million guaranteed) were just taken care of.

Mathis wants a deal that is more in line with the market and his level of production. The Eagles do not want to rip up a contract this close to handing out the original one, concerned with the precedent that it would set.

A holdout would have put a strain on both parties. Teams can fine players up to $30,000 a day for missing training camp. If Mathis held firm he would not only potentially be losing a great deal of money, but hurting his team while setting off on a path that has no clear destination. From the Eagles standpoint, they would be missing one of their key pieces along the offensive front, which is already down a man for the first four games of the regular season because of the Lane Johnson suspension.

Bullet dodged for now. Mathis might not be the happiest camper, but he’ll be camping nonetheless.

Mathis has started 47 of a possible 48 games since joining the Eagles in 2011. This past season he was named First-Team All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

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  • septa_rida

    Good man.

  • mtn_green

    30k in penalties, oldest starting guard, 7th highest paid guard, no decent trade offers. He was a backup before playing with eagles. Can’t he get an insurance policy to cover an injury?

    • anon

      1) premiums on sports injuries gotta be super expensive, especially for an old guy
      2) i think he actually wants more money, not just an injury guarantee.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        I, personally, think he wants more guaranteed, especially this year and next.

  • anon

    That’s silly he’s got all the leverage now — we couldn’t handle losing 2 OL — where’s your agent brah?

    Hopefully his loyalty gets rewarded at some point but doubt it.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      He has some, but not all of the leverage. Surely Johnson’s suspension added, but even still, when you look at the list of players mentioned, I broke it down before, they all got their deals at a younger age than Mathis got his, and were playing at the highest level then too. Mathis is too late of a bloomer to have all of the leverage, evidenced by no trades materializing.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        not sure how much we can read into a trade not materializing, since we dont know what the Eagles’ pricetag was to aquire Mathis. might have hung a 2 1sts or more.
        i’m with you, generally go w/ players but this one i side w/ FO. though if i was Howie, not sure the harm in putting extra 1m on next 3 yrs and making ’14 and part of ’15 guaranteed. for his troubles, let Howie tack on club option 4th year, everyone wins.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          I’m not sure, either, but it can’t be dismissed either. While I think we can both agree it wasn’t 2 1sts, I’m sure they didn’t want peanuts either…. We’re in the same boat, though. Guarantee this season for sure, and I’d say all of next, and consider other incentives to throw in there to get him more if he earns it, such as an All-Pro bonus or something like that.

          • anon

            They were looking for a 3rd, which is a lot but they got a conditional 4th for BB, so people will overpay i guess…

      • aub32

        I think he lost leverage with Barbre’s extension, but Lane’s suspension most certainly put him in the driver’s seat. I hope he gets his money, because he’s really young enough to play to loyal soldier game and wait for his loyalty to be rewarded.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          Do you mean he’s not really young enough? Didn’t follow the part after, “because…”

          • aub32

            sorry. I meant “not really young enough”

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            I thought that was what you meant but didn’t want to assume. I mean, I hope he gets paid too, but he’s not horribly underpaid. I’d like to see Howie acknowledge how well he’s played and how he’s been a good presence in the locker room with some guaranteed dollars.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Good! I guess Jordan M. talked him in to it.

    I agree about not redoing a contract so soon after signing it. After this season, hopefully they can tear up the current contract and give a new 2 or 3 year deal that both parties deem fair.

  • Andy

    No harm in asking since the other two guys got new contracts. I’m glad he isn’t holding out, though. Basically if he continues to perform at a high level the next three years he will get his money.

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    Why didn’t Mathis and Rosenhaus think this through 2 years ago before signing a 5 year contract ? the non-guaranteed part always gives away the leverage to the organization. If he plays well they keep him at the same money, if not, they release him and don’t owe him a dime.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Didn’t have the leverage of being All Pro at the time.

    • aub32

      The only team seemingly interested in him at the time was the Ravens. The Eagles basically just matched their offer knowing that Mathis preferred to stay in Philly.

  • Kev_H

    Unfortunately, Evan has no leverage. He’s likely too old to sign long-term for big bucks. His best bet is to play great, contract-to-contract. Holding out would hurt the team but it would kill him. Get out there and earn a 3 year deal for next year!

  • FluxCapacitor

    This will show if the Eagles FO has changed or is still a Darth Vader. Mathis has outplayed his contract, but he was given a better one than he deserved at the time. If he plays as well this year there should be a reward since he has displayed a team first attitude.

  • John J. King

    He’s a straight up good player. If he gets to AP again, he will get some money as he can play, if healthy to 40.

  • jamesbondage

    Just shut up and play then if he plays to his All-Pro level, he will be awarded with an extension during the off season.