Evan Mathis joins Jackson on Eagles trade block

Evan Mathis

As the Eagles continue to consider trading Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson, they have added an All-Pro to the mix: G Evan Mathis. Mathis, who has started all 32 games with the Eagles over the past two years with the team, had his best season of his career last year when he was named as one of the top guards in the entire league. So the Eagles decide they should put him on the trade block. Sounds familiar, right?

Well, this will certainly annoy a lot of Eagles fans, but they shouldn’t worry too much. According to reports from all sorts of sources, there is a lower chance of Mathis getting traded than Jackson. Mathis has a cap hit of $6.15 million this coming year, and the contract still has 2 years after 2014 (where the cap hit increases very slowly). Mathis apparently wants a new contract, but isn’t that a solid amount already? Yes, he may have been an All-Pro, but he is 32 already and likely in the second half of his career.

Plus, do the Eagles really need to clear more cap space? I really don’t understand why that keeps being brought up as the reason why the Eagles would part ways with a current player. They still have over $16 million in cap space that will likely be spent on rookies, but there’s no way they’d spend more than half of that. How much cap room could they possibly want? If Mathis is really that set on getting a new contract, then I’d say give him what he wants- they have the money. The one problem I have is that this would set a bad precedent for future players. It’s not right to demand a new contract after one good year, especially if the player has multiple years left still, as is the case with Mathis.

Plus, trading Mathis would hurt their team no matter what. He’s a great veteran and leader on the offensive line and is still (hopefully) in the prime of his career. The Eagles have, what I think, is the best offensive line in the NFL, so why try to break it up? I know Chip Kelly has a very defined definition of what type of players he likes, but if it has to do with age, it’s inconsistent. Jason Peters is also 32 and they just gave him a big extension, and they’re both All-Pro caliber. Peters has been playing at that high of a level for longer than Mathis, but currently they’re about equal.

If the Eagles did trade Mathis, they wouldn’t get too much. It would be a mid-round draft pick at most because of his high salary and older age. He’s a great player to already have on the team, but not to try to acquire as a part of a trade. There’s also been no indication as to if any teams are actually interested in him, so it’s too early to call.

Basically, there’s not much here. Mathis is not the type of guy to speak out and cause trouble in the locker room, so there doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. The general consensus among insiders and beat reporters is that he’s staying, and I don’t see that changing. If worse comes to worse, they give him a little more money and he stays, but it doesn’t do much to the cap space. But is it really worth it to fight over a few extra million dollars when your contract is already pretty high? In my opinion, no, but time will surely tell what the Eagles decide to do.

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