It would be unfitting of the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles offseason for the team to have a day go by without a story regarding one of their notable players. Sure enough, the morning after head coach Chip Kelly apparently set disgruntled wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s mind at ease, or so they tell us, another one of the Eagles star players; guard Evan Mathis, according to Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) of the NFL Network, is interested in parlaying his breakout 2014 season into a new deal.
#Eagles have made it known Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis is available via trade, sources say. So WR DeSean Jackson is not alone on trade block
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2014
Rapoport goes on to cite Mathis’ age, 32, as a driving force to turn his 2014 season into a deal that earns him more than his expected $5.15 million base salary for the 2015 campaign. Last season Mathis was named to the Associated Press’ All Pro 1st team for the first time in his career. He has started all 32 games over the last two seasons and was ProFootballFocus’ third runner-up for offensive players of the year in 2013. Since the Eagles signed the journeyman guard prior to the 2011 campaign, he has been among the most consistent performers on the team. He parlayed his impressive first year with the Eagles to a 5-year/$25 million contract with the team after hitting the open market, with the Eagles staving off a strong push from the Baltimore Ravens. Although it is only up to speculation, it is apparent the Alabama product sees an opportunity to cash in once more in the second half of his career and is willing to test the resolve of the Eagles organization.
Mathis is an extremely important piece along the Eagles offensive line. One could argue that the veteran unit, along with rookie Lane Johnson, was the most impressive group for the Eagles last season and essential to their success in the run game. Mathis’ rare blend of athleticism, football IQ, and ability to work within the locker room make him a invaluable piece. That said, although they somewhat bucked the trend signing Jason Peters, the Eagles have never been a franchise that succumbs to contract demands of 30+ year old players. Mathis turns 33 in November and, if the organization anticipates a painful holdout or any sort of issue with Mathis’ agent, they have shown they are not afraid to gauge value of some of their marquee players. Yet another twist in what has already been a highly active offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles.