Evan Mathis feels he had leverage, but didn’t want to strong-arm team


Eagles guard Evan Mathis reported for camp this week despite his desire for a new contract and his feeling that he was well-positioned to force the team’s hand because of right tackle Lane Johnson’s four-game suspension.

Had Mathis held out, the Eagles would have faced the possibility of replacing two starting offensive linemen on the fly and that could have softened their stance against reworking Mathis’ deal. Mathis, who is set to make $5 million this year in the third year of a five-year deal, still wants a new deal but said that he didn’t want to do so by potentially hurting the team at a moment when they were already missing a starter.

“It gave me plenty of leverage, if I was to hold out. The fines had nothing to do with it. But what I’d be doing to my teammates and coaches — that’s the ultimate reason,” Mathis said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I’m not trying to strong-arm the team. I’m not trying to put them in a bad situation to get what I want. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m not really worried about it. Hopefully it works out. If it doesn’t, I’m still going to be the same football player.”

Mathis’ presence will make it easier for the Eagles offense to succeed while Johnson is out of the lineup and it could help get things moving with the Eagles if they feel Mathis needs to be in camp to talk about a revised deal, but the two remaining years beyond this one on the contract give them plenty of reason to wait with Mathis giving up whatever leverage he may have had.

14 responses to “Evan Mathis feels he had leverage, but didn’t want to strong-arm team

  1. Mathis isn’t young, but he has low miles and is in great shape. It might not be a bad idea to throw him a bone here.

  2. He likes to hear himself talk. Yeah, he could have forced the team to give him a new contract, but he decided not to. This is the same team that cut a receiver who set franchise records last season.

  3. If Mathis thinks management is going to show its appreciation for him not using his leverage by giving him more money when it’s contract time, he doesn’t understand the “Football is a business” business. It’s a cutthroat business and the billionaires are going to dump a loyal player in a heartbeat if they think they can get a younger man to perform at even close to the same level as a veteran.

    If you have leverage, use it. That’s what management is going to do every single time.

  4. I wouldn’t give him a new deal either. Giving a guy a new contract in year 3 of a 5 year contract is an awful trend to start. If players/agents know you are willing to do it, you’ll have guys holding out every year.

    Maybe after this year, but no way would I give a guy a new deal when he is still in the 1st half of his last deal

  5. Its funny and highly ironic that Mathis “wants to hear himself talk” when he was asked a question when I didn’t hear anyone ask rocky racoon one and he spouted anyway.

  6. Mathis has been a great addition to the Eagles but, lets not forget before he landed in Philly. He was average at best. Is he a very late bloomer or does him lining up between an All-Pro LT and one of the best Centers in the game benifit him? I think both. He is being paid well for his age though. I think the Eagles will extent him and add on a healthy signing bonus as well. He is worth it, and he will get it..but holding out would have benifitted him or the team. Good choice Mr. Mathis. The Birds have plenty of cap room.

  7. Desean didn’t set franchise records. If you take away Desean’s best 4 games in ’13. He averaged < 56 ypg. Translation: He showed up against lackluster defenses and did well in the Snow Bowl. Plus his up field blocking was less than mediocre.
    As for Mathis: I would come to practice nd participate in practices. I'd take all the first team snaps. Then 10 days before the first season, let the brass know I'm not playing the first time two games. That way the Eagles can't prepare for his absence. Emmitt Smith did it during his hold out a lifetime ago.

  8. What franchise records for receiving did djax set last year?

    Receptions? (Westbrook 90)
    Yards? (Mike Quick 1400+)
    Tds? (T.O. 14)

    Oh, he did set the record for best season for a guy who had previously admitted to quitting on the team for a year to get paid though.

    Google bar is right up in the right corner of the window, fellas. Say correct stuff.

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