Why not Evan Mathis?
According to multiple reports, the Philadelphia Eagles are "open" to trading Evan Mathis -- obviously for the right offer. Mathis is due $5.15 million in salary but the former Bengals guard wants to a new deal.
Why can Evan Mathis be had via trade? At 32, he’s due $5.15M in salary in 2014, but he wants a new deal after breakout season, source says.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2014
According to Jason La Canfora with CBS Sports, the Eagles are looking for a third round pick -- but may be open to a fourth.
Eagles are seeking a 3d round pick for Evan Mathis. Possibly would take a 4th. Otherwise teams figure Philly holds on to him— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 26, 2014
Pro Football Focus graded Mathis as the league's top-ranked offensive guard for three consecutive seasons. And last year wasn't even close. Mathis scored a +46.7 PFF grade in 2013 with Josh Sitton coming in a distance second with a +33.1 score. Additionally, Mathis is a dominant run blocker -- which appeals to the Hue Jackson philosophy of being more physical in the team's rushing offense.
To answer the aforementioned question, it would be nice but it won't happen.
For one thing, if Cincinnati wasn't willing to pay to keep Anthony Collins, an offensive tackle that hasn't allow a quarterback sack since 2009, why would they spend on a dominant run-blocker?
Plus it's not like Mathis left Cincinnati on the best of terms.
We routinely promoted Mathis as the team's best option at left guard when he played in Cincinnati. Mathis had seven career starts with Cincinnati, all coming in 2009 when the Bengals won six of seven games from the second to the ninth week of the season -- all with Mathis starting. According to Pro Football Focus' grading scale, Mathis posted the third best pass and blocking scores compared all Bengals linemen that year. And for whatever reason Bengals liked Nate Livings, often graded as one of the worst blockers, over Mathis and Cincinnati finished 4-12 that season -- not that we're making a direct comparison.
When Reggie Bush watched New Orleans draft running back Mark Ingram in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Bush tweeted "It's been fun New Orleans". Mathis followed that up with "It hasn't been fun Cincinnati", an obvious declaration that he had no intention of returning [NOTE: He quickly pointed out that his problem wasn't with the fans, rather the confusing nature in which he wasn't promoted over Livings -- a contention that we agreed with]. However the Bengals did sign restricted free agent Livings and were at one point in discussions with former offensive lineman Stacy Andrews. In other words, we kept signing the wrong players.
Mathis left for Philadelphia on a one-year deal in 2011 then re-upped with a five-year deal worth $25.5 million in 2012.