As coach and dictator of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly decided to release Pro-Bowl guard Evan Mathis because of a contract dispute. It is a baffling move to say the least, as Mathis was one of the Eagles most consistent players throughout the years. ProFootballFocus.com had Mathis rated the best offensive guard from 2011-2013. Though Atlanta picked up Chris Chester, Mathis would be an upgrade above any offensive linemen on Atlanta’s roster.
Picking up Mathis is not so much of a need as it is a want. How could Falcons fans not want a two-time Pro Bowler who is a star at his position? He also brings experience to the table, and he could help guide second-year left tackle, Jake Matthews. Mathis played alongside Jason Peters, a top-rated left tackle in the NFL. Peters had something to do in guiding Mathis into the player he has become, and Mathis could do the same for Matthews. The left-side of the offensive line could be solidified for years, as Matthews and Mathis could hold down that side for years.
Thanks for the memories Philly.
— Evan Mathis (@EvanMathis69) June 11, 2015
The Falcons once again also have questions with their offensive line. Will Joe Hawley be ready for the start of the season coming off his 2014 injury? The Falcons could possibly slide Chester to center, plugging in Mathis at left guard. Mathis’s game is best suited for a zone-blocking scheme, so Kyle Shanahan would be salivating over the potential signing. The more players familiar with the zone blocking scheme, the better. Besides missing nine games in 2014, Mathis had started at least 15 in the previous three-seasons. He is durable, even though he missed over half the season last year.
If anyone is to look at Atlanta’s offensive line, they would see their is only one proven player; Jon Asamoah. Other than that, many experts have stated the Falcons are still lacking truly polished offensive linemen. In all honesty, their points are correct. Signing Mathis would significantly upgrade the line. General Manager Thomas Dimitroff decided to skip over the glaring need at left guard during the draft, opting to sign Chris Chester through free agency. But would Mathis make sense for Atlanta? It seems like he wants a multi-year contract, as he will be turning 34 in November. He wants a contract that will give him as much money as possible, but he will be looking at contending teams. The Falcons might not look like a contending team, but having the easiest schedule and easiest division from last year should raise Mathis and his agent’s eyebrows. This potential signing will be up to the front office. Will they decide they be conservative or aggressive? On one hand, Mathis will demand a significant amount of money, taking away signings in the future. On the other hand, Atlanta has a chance to upgrade their mediocre offensive line for the next couple of years. The ball is in your court, Thomas Dimitroff.