“I’m home,” Mathis told the Florida Times-Union. “Not too many people can say they’ve been home for 10 years. It’s a blessing.”
Mathis decided to stay home without waiting for the opportunity to test free agency, although he didn’t necessarily take a hometown discount: Plenty of teams would be reluctant to sign a guy who will be 32 before the season starts and is four months removed from a torn ACL, as Mathis is. Mathis says he started running recently and isn’t at full speed yet but expects to be ready to go for the start of training camp.
If he’s not ready to go, the Jaguars have some safeguards in Mathis’s contract: There’s a $1 million signing bonus and $950,000 base salary, and he’ll have to be healthy enough to meet some playing time incentives to get the full $5 million.
Mathis said of the structure of that contract, “What we decided on was the best for both of us.”