The Eagles parted ways with Evan Mathis yesterday, releasing the two-time Pro Bowl guard after he skipped OTAs in an effort to get a new contract.
So naturally, Vikings fans are asking if Mathis could make sense here.
The answer is yes. But one problem is he makes sense in a lot of places.
Mathis was a journeyman backup before arriving in Philadelphia in 2011. There, with already seven seasons under his belt, Mathis finally became a full-time starter and thrived after Chip Kelly was hired. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2013 and has been selected to the past two Pro Bowls.
Mathis turns 34 in November and is presumably looking for a multi-year contract, but he would be an upgrade on many NFL offensive lines.
So count on him having at least a handful of suitors. And if that’s the case, Mathis will be able to weigh all the pros and cons then pick his next team.
It is not known if the Vikings are one of those suitors, but they did balk at trading for Mathis when the Eagles were shopping him this offseason. Now that draft compensation is not required, it could be a different story.
But as I said, the Vikings, if they are actually interested, would not be alone in their pursuit of Mathis. So would playing for the Vikings appeal to him?
For starters, the Vikings have salary cap space and an open competition at guard, where young linemen such as T.J. Clemmings and David Yankey — oh hey, I wrote this story in today’s newspaper about Yankey — are duking it out with veteran Joe Berger. Mathis would likely be an immediate upgrade, but developing your young players is always preferable.
And Mathis might want to play for another playoff contender. Would he see the Vikings as one? They went 7-9 last season, but a couple of notable media outlets have pegged them as a top-10 team in their premature power rankings because of their young talent, including Teddy Bridgewater.
Plus, Mathis has familiarity with head coach Mike Zimmer, who was on the staff in Cincinnati when Mathis played there, and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, who coached Mathis in Carolina early in his NFL career.
Taking all of that into consideration, it seems as Mathis could be a fit here if the Vikings would prefer to have a proven veteran at their vacant guard spot instead one of the inexperienced linemen they are grooming there.
But no one should blame them for sticking with their youth movement.
And no one should be surprised if Mathis prefers other opportunities.