DeSean Jackson has been the subject of trade rumors for several weeks now, but he’ll have some company going forward. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported this morning (via Twitter) that the Eagles have “made it known” All Pro guard Evan Mathis is available via trade. According to Rapoport (via Twitter) and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter), Mathis would like a new contract after a breakout year, and the Eagles aren’t inclined to give the 32-year-old a raise on his $5.15MM salary ($6.15MM cap number).
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly spoke to reporters this morning in Orlando and was asked about Mathis, Jackson, and several other topics related to the team. Here are a few highlights from the conversation (all links go to Twitter):
- Kelly confirmed that he has spoken to Jackson and said it was a good conversation, but added that the Eagles will “always do what’s best for the organization,” according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. Kelly didn’t say at any point that the standout wide receiver wouldn’t be traded, though he did say Jackson hasn’t asked for a new contract, according to Bowen.
- Asked why it took so long for him to talk to Jackson, Kelly said he hadn’t been following all the trade rumors and reports, says Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com notes, that explanation doesn’t really add up, but after being pressed on the issue, Kelly simply said, “I don’t have an answer for you.”
- “I don’t think our offense has ever been predicated on one player,” Kelly said, when asked about how the offense could possibly be better off without Jackson.
- Kelly hasn’t spoken to Mathis about the possibility of a new deal, but is very skeptical that the veteran guard would cause any problems for the team, says Mosher.
- After losing Michael Vick in free agency, backup quarterback is a “position of need” for the Eagles, according to Kelly. Asked about Mark Sanchez, the head coach didn’t confirm the team’s interest, but said the ex-Jet is a “very good athlete” and has plenty of experience. As for starter Nick Foles, Kelly was adamant that Foles is Philadelphia’s franchise quarterback.
- The Eagles will focus on taking the best player available in the draft, with Kelly stressing today that he doesn’t think the roster is necessarily set at any position.