After agreeing to a deal to join the Denver Broncos, guard Evan Mathis pointed to the team's chances of winning a Super Bowl as the main factor in his decision.
"The No. 1 priority in finding a new place to play was playing for a contender," Mathis told Mike Klis of 9News. "The Broncos weren't in the mix early on. They were kind of the dark horse in the race. They emerged here late and I just couldn't turn down that opportunity."
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Mathis can earn up to $4 million with incentives tied to playing time.
The 33-year-old confirmed Rapoport's report that he turned down a $5.5 million offer from another team because of his desire to play for a contender. The Philadelphia Eagles cut Mathis this offseason when he was scheduled to make $5.5 million.
"But I also turned down an offer equal to what I would have made in Philly," Mathis said. "It was a decision to be on a team I thought had the best chance to make a run. And it's not all about the money. You can't put a price on peace of mind."
In Denver, Mathis will slide into a starting spot, adding a veteran presence to a line that started three linemen without a snap of NFL experience in their most recent preseason game.
Mathis said he's willing to become a teacher for the bevy of younger players.
"I think I've learned a lot, I think I have a lot to share with these guys as well as the technical aspects of the game," he said. "And then ultimately leading by doing the right thing. Taking care of my body. Playing as hard as I can play. Making the decisions in life that ultimately make me a better ballplayer."
Mathis clearly is an upgrade for the Broncos, whose biggest questions entering the season were Peyton Manning's health and blocking in front of the quarterback. Mathis helps partially answer one of those queries.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Jordy Nelson's knee injury and gives its winners and losers from Week 2 of the preseason.