Chip Kelly spoke with the media on Wednesday for the second time during mandatory minicamps, and for the second time fielded questions about the team's decision to release All-Pro guard Evan Mathis.
Kelly met the media on Tuesday, and said that the Eagles were granting a request made by Drew Rosenhaus, Mathis' agent, by cutting him last week. But after Kelly spoke to the media yesterday, Mathis told various reporters that he had not asked a release since March.
According to Kelly, the team and Mathis' camp continued discussion throughout the spring, and that the decision to release Mathis was not, as some players suggested, based on his absence from OTAs. Ultimately, Kelly said, the decision had nothing to do with #culture, and that the decision was about dollars and cents. And when neither side could agree on terms--that is to say, the Eagles were unwilling to talk about new terms--that was that.
"It was a money issue, and we just didn't come to terms on a money issue," Kelly said. "There are a bunch of guys that are working very hard, and that's what we're looking for, and Evan works very hard. It was a money decision and we just weren't on the same page on the money."
When asked about Mathis' comments saying that he would have reported to mandatory minicamp without causing trouble, Kelly said it never came up during their final conversation. "When I talked to him on Thursday, I told him why we were releasing him and I told him I wished him the best and I hope he gets what he's looking for," Kelly said. "That was the end of the conversation."
Since releasing Mathis last week, the Eagles filled his spot on the roster - and his jersey number - by signing Jared Wheeler. Mathis is now a free agent, and can sign with any team.