By Peter Gleason
Just when you thought we had heard the last of The Great Evan Mathis debate, here comes the players union to roil the waters for the Eagles and Chip Kelly.
According to Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com, the NFLPA is reviewing the decision to cut Mathis, a two-time Pro Bowl guard. McManus says the union is simply gathering information at this point.
It’s possible that the NFLPA suspects that the decision to cut Mathis constitutes retaliation for his decision to skip offseason workouts. The more likely explanation is that the Eagles reacted to multiple reports emerging last Tuesday that Mathis believes the team removed from the table an offer to enhance his contract because Howie Boy Roseman, who made the offer in 2014, no longer serves as the team’s general manager.
While Mathis may have gotten what he wanted in the short term, he may not get the deal he covets on the open market. With the news emerging Thursday that Mathis would be cut but the Eagles not officially announcing the move until Friday, it seems that the team may have tapped the brakes on formalizing the separation in the hopes that someone would call up with a trade offer — like the Falcons did a year ago once word emerged that the Texans would be cutting backup quarterback T.J. Yates.
The fact that no one made a 13th-hour effort to trade for Mathis could mean no one wants to pay him the $5.5 million he was due to make this year, along with the extra $1 million or so that would have been available under the offer the Eagles ultimately opted to rescind. The fact that a land rush has not quickly emerged for the player’s services tends to bolster that proposition.