Pro Football Focus graded Mathis as its top guard three out of the past four seasons. Others see the 33-year-old as an aging vet who thrives in certain schemes.
Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar took the discussion to another level on Friday with his article dissecting some blocks Mathis missed -- or at least appeared to miss -- last season.
The key to the breakdown is that Mathis himself provided context to each play.
On one play in which the guard gave up a sack against Jacksonville, Mathis said he suffered a stinger on the previous play and his left arm went numb. On others he gave insight into the scheme of the play. And, yes, he also admitted to being slow and missing a block.
The context provided by Mathis is crucial to understanding what we are looking at, especially when it comes to the minutia of blocking.
Mathis, who missed seven games with a sprained MCL in 2014, also dismissed the questions about his age and play.
"My body of work was limited last year due to the injury," he told Farrar. "I'm very much ready to come back strong for an entire season and have my best year yet. I'll listen to the age talk when I lose a step."
Now a free agent, Mathis will have a chance prove the doubters wrong when he eventually signs with a new team and hits the field in 2015.