The Eagles are still trying to trade Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, as multiple reports indicated on Monday. Agent Drew Rosenhaus is reportedly trying to find a team where Mathis will fit. But what if the Eagles can't find a trade partner? According to CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher, the Eagles might just release Mathis.
"Mathis, who was on the trade block last offseason and is back there again, might be cast off into the free-agent waters if the Eagles can’t deal him, according to a source close to the situation.
Right now, the source said, the team is "actively looking" to deal the 33-year-old lineman. Head coaches and executives from all 32 NFL teams are at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore resort this week for the annual owners meetings. It’s an informal environment outside of the meetings but business can be consummated. [...]
The source said the decision to shop Mathis is completely Kelly’s and added that the Eagles are either looking to save money or continue to rebuild the roster around a younger nucleus -- or both. [...]
The source also didn’t slam the door on Mathis returning to the Eagles, but Kelly hasn’t shown much reluctance to get rid of veterans, even if it means eating dead money."
Releasing Mathis would allow the Eagles to save $4.5 million in cap space. According to Over The Cap, Philadelphia currently has the ninth least cap space in the NFL. It's not as if the team desperately needs the money, but Mathis has reportedly requested for a raise in the past. The Eagles don't seem to be willing to hand out more money to the 33-year-old guard.
The Eagles releasing Mathis would obviously be a really unpopular move. He's a fan-favorite and getting rid of him opens up another hole on the team's offensive line.