Although Mathis has graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 1 guard over the past three seasons, coach Chip Kelly revealed in early May that the eminently available 11-year veteran attracted no tangible trade interest from other teams.
"We have never had an offer for Evan so there's nothing to take," Kelly explained. "Evan's been available to trade for two years now and we've never had an offer for him. And that's through their agent and him. They've asked us if he can renegotiate a contract and see what he can get and we've obliged him with that, but we've never had an offer on him."
Connecting the dots, that would appear to have been the impetus behind Mathis' release.
The leading in-house candidate to replace Mathis is Matt Tobin, who filled in when the starter was sidelined with a knee injury last season.
Mathis will now test his value on the open market, an opportunity he has sought for over a year now.
Even at the relatively advanced football age of 33, Mathis shouldn't lack for suitors. He was an excellent fit in the Eagles' scheme that uses extensive zone blocking, but won't be viewed as a mauler by teams that run a power ground attack.
It will be interesting to see if Mathis lands a contract richer than the one Kelly was offering to stay in Philadelphia.
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