Despite multiple reports that indicate he's on the trade block, it appears Ryan Mathews will be back with the Philadelphia Eagles next season. NFL insider Adam Schefter said as much during an interview on Mike Missanelli's show on 97.5 The Fanatic.
"No, they’re not [looking to trade him]," Schefter said. "They’re not trying to unload Ryan Mathews. I expect him to be back. I expect him to be part of the Eagles' roster next year."
Les Bowen seems to be under the same impression as Schefter.
Ryan Mathews is not being traded https://t.co/2LH9vQ81ll— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 10, 2016
The guess here is that the Mathews trade rumors aren't totally made up. I think it's just more of a case where the Eagles are willing to part with him at a good price than it is they are looking to dump him. Trading Mathews creates $2 million in dead money and only saves $2 million in cap space. Not to mention it opens up a big hole at running back.
Mathews was Philadelphia's most efficient running back in 2015. He rushed for 539 yards on 107 attempts (5.0 average) and six touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions for 146 yards and one score. Mathews wasn't without his faults. He fumbled three times and missed a few games due to injury. Durability has always been a problem for the 28-year-old rusher. He's only played in all 16 games once during his six-year NFL career. Speaking of injury, Mathews had surgery on his groin after the season ended.
Despite Mathews seemingly being back, running back is still a position the Eagles could afford to address. Mathews has flaws and can be released next offseason for a savings of $4 million. Darren Sproles is in the last year of his contract and will turn 34 after this season. The team might look to add a rusher in the 2016 NFL Draft. It's been speculated Ezekiel Elliott could be a target for the Birds at No. 8, but taking a running back in the first round these days isn't so common.