JUNE 19, 5:04pm: Five days after saying that a half dozen clubs had expressed interest in Mathis, Rosenhaus tells Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the number is up to 10. While Mathis’ agent didn’t identify any specific suitors, a team source tells Kelly that the Dolphins are one of the 10, though they haven’t made an offer and don’t intend to invest significantly in the veteran lineman.
JUNE 14, 3:47pm: At least “half a dozen” clubs have expressed interest in newly-minted free agent guard Evan Mathis, his agent Drew Rosenhaus said during an appearance on WQAM (link via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). Mathis, 33, was released by the Eagles on Thursday.
“It’s wide open and there’s a lot of interest in Evan,” said Rosenhaus. “Between now and the start of training camp, I definitely expect him to have a new home. I think we’ll be methodical. We won’t necessarily rush into signing immediately… As far as ranking Evan’s priorities, I definitely think winning is critical to him…The contract has been an issue, so that’s a factor. Fortunately, he’s going to have some options.”
No team has been directly linked to Mathis, as Rosenhaus notes that “until a player visits with a team, clubs like to keep their interest on the down low.” But a number of teams have been tossed out as potential suitors, with the Bills, Patriots, Seahawks, Vikings, and Dolphins all being mentioned. As Rosenhaus says, Mathis’ contract was a determining factor in his release by Philadelphia, so it seems like his destination will be greatly influenced by monetary offers.
Mathis was scheduled to earn a base salary of $5.5MM under his Eagles deal, and it remains to be seen if he and Rosenhaus can secure that type of commitment from another club. Given his age and that teams mostly have their rosters set, it’s probably unlikely that Mathis will be able to get that level of AAV. Setting up a bidding war among interested parties, however, is surely the best avenue for Rosenhaus to explore.
Miami, specifically, would prefer to roll over some of its $10MM in cap space to 2016, and like most clubs, wants to keep a few million in reserve to aid in the case of in-season injuries, according to Jackson. Given those parameters, it might be tough for the Dolphins to fit Mathis into their plans.