It's no secret that Evan Mathis' name has been floated in NFL trade rumors lately. The Pro Bowl guard himself even (indirectly) responded to them. One report indicates that the Eagles could release Mathis if they can't find a trade partner.
Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly was asked about the Mathis rumors during his Wednesday morning media session. According to Kelly, he would like to see the veteran guard return.
Kelly when asked if Evan Mathis will be on team next year: I hope so.— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) March 25, 2015
The thing is, if Kelly truly wants Mathis to stay, the coach will keep him. Kelly gained full control over player personnel this offseason so it's totally his call.
Kelly also denied the Eagles are shopping Mathis, but did note that the team has given permission to Drew Rosenhaus (Mathis' agent) to seek a trade.
Kelly said that at the end of the day they will listen to offers for any player. Gave Evan Mathis' reps permission to seek trade.— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) March 25, 2015
If Mathis doesn't return to the Eagles in 2015, the team will need two new starting guards. According to Kelly, it looks like versatile veteran Allen Barbre could be penciled in as a starter for one of those spots.
Sounds like Allen Barbre will be the right guard with first-team offense.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) March 25, 2015
Right now, the Eagles' 2015 offensive line figures to look something like this:
Left tackle: Jason Peters
Left guard: Evan Mathis
Center: Jason Kelce
Right guard: Allen Barbre
Right tackle: Lane Johnson
Getting rid of Mathis via trade or release would obviously open up another hole with no clear replacement to step in.