If Adam Schefter’s tweet wasn’t enough evidence, Evan Mathis’ “Thanks for the memories Philly,” sent out at 3:51 Thursday was confirmation.
The Eagles, who had granted Mathis permission to seek a trade but were unwilling to renegotiatehis contract, afive-year, $25.5 million contract signed prior to the 2012 season, decided they had had enough with the two-time Pro Bowler.
The team cut one of the game’s top offensive linemen, once again philosophizing that culture and teamwork could overcome ego.
The guard did not report to Eagles OTAs, and with mandatory minicamp next week it sounds like the Birds and Chip Kelly did not want to deal with the possible media firestorm and fines.
New running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews will be running behind a makeshift offensive line, boasting one of the best tackles in the game, Jason Peters, as well as a few solid backups from last year who will return to fill in for the departed Mathis.
Allen Barbre, Andrew Gardner, Dennis Kelly and Josh Andrews are all candidates to take the starting job.
The Birds also cut Todd Herremans this season, but still have returners Lane Johnson and Jason Kelceslated to start in 2015.
Mathis is the ninth Andy Reid star to be released or traded away by Kelly, and the third Pro Bowler from last year not to return. He would have been the oldest starting offensive lineman in the league had he remained with the team at age 34.