Veteran guard Evan Mathis thought about pulling a Peyton Manning, and retiring after a Super Bowl win.
But the chance to join a team which could make a similar run, so close to home, was more than he could turn down.
The former Broncos guard signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals this week, in part because he lives in Scottsdale and has a training facility there.
“I don’t have to pick up my family, move across country,” Mathis said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “We can stay in our routine, do what we do. I’m really excited about it, for more reasons than that.”
But he admitted the lure of retirement with a ring was strong.
“For a while, I was riding the wave of winning the Super Bowl,” he said. “I got to the point where I was OK going either way with it [retirement]. I told myself that if the right opportunity came about, where it was a contender team that offered me a contract that I thought was worth it, I’d keep playing. It’s not something I want to jump into and half-ass and get paid. I’m all in when I play football. The commitment is there if I decide to play. . . .
“I didn’t want to commit to two years and at the end of the season end up having to walk away from something that I committed to, if I decided I wasn’t going to be all-in again. So, this is the type of situation where I know I can. It’s kind of like last year, just lay it all on the line, give it everything I’ve got and go from there.”
Mathis has shown he can still play at a high level when he’s well. He had surgery since the Super Bowl to remove all the loose stuff in his right ankle, which gave him problems last year.