Evan Mathis Cut By Eagles. Will Vikings Try to Sign Him?


In a somewhat surprising move, the Philadelphia Eagles today cut Pro Bowl offensive guard Evan Mathis, turning arguably the best guard in the NFL into a free agent. Mathis had been embroiled in a contract dispute and was sitting out OTAs, and apparently Chip Kelly decided he’d had enough.

It’s not every day that a legitimately elite player hits the open market, but that’s the case with Mathis. Pro Football Focus ranked him the #1 guard in the league from 2011-2013, and #2 in 2014 even though he played in only nine games.

Though Mathis is 33 years old and coming off an injury-shortened season, interest in him should be hot and heavy around the league. Will the Vikings be one of the teams looking to pursue the now-former Eagles star?

You have to believe the Vikings will at least put in a call to Mathis’ agent. The Vikes have the cap space to make a move for the veteran if they so choose. And they could definitely use the upgrade at offensive guard.

The plan right now for Minnesota is to replace the departed Charlie Johnson at LG by flipping Brandon Fusco over from the right side and replacing Fusco at RG with whatever player emerges in camp.

The Vikes have multiple options at RG, including veteran Joe Berger, rookies T.J. Clemmings and Tyrus Thompson, 2014 draft pick David Yankey and free agent pick up Carter Bykowski.

Needless to say, none of the players listed above has anything approaching Mathis’ pedigree.

Signing Mathis would change everything for the Vikings. They could plug the veteran in at left guard alongside struggling left tackle Matt Kalil, and leave Brandon Fusco in his familiar spot at right guard.

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Mathis would be a great help to Kalil, who struggled at times last year alongside Charlie Johnson, especially in blitz pick-ups. Mathis’ run blocking would also help the Vikings re-establish a dominating ground game (Adrian Peterson would help that as well, obviously).

Adding Mathis would instantly transform the Vikings’ questionable offensive line into a potentially strong unit. If Kalil were to also improve, the Vikes could potentially have a top 10 offensive line with Mathis also in the fold.

Given everything Mathis would bring to the table, it’s hard to find a reason for the Vikings not to at least enter the bidding for his services. Mathis was set to make $5.5 million this year with the Eagles before he was cut. Philadelphia dangled him as trade bait the last two seasons but found no takers.

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