Broncos Sign Evan Mathis

5:18pm: Mathis’ base salary is $2.5MM, Klis tweets. As previously reported, Mathis can reach $4MM with incentives.

Interestingly, Peyton Manning‘s offseason pay cut amounted to $4MM, so that money effectively went straight into beefing up his protection.

5:12pm: Mathis’ deal with Denver can be worth as much as $4MM with incentives, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets. Mathis had an offer for up to $5.5MM, a figure which would have matched the salary he was slated to earn in Philly, but he opted to sign with a contender instead.

With Mathis as the primary left guard, Max Garcia will now become Denver’s swing guy, Mike Klis of 9NEWS tweets.

5:06pm: The Broncos announced that they have agreed to terms with Evan Mathis. Terms of the pact are not yet known.

With Mathis manning the left guard position, the Broncos now arguably boast the league’s best interior offensive line with Louis Vasquez at right guard. In 2013, both players earned All-Pro selections. The addition of Mathis also brings some star power back into Denver’s offensive line following Ryan Clady‘s season-ending ACL tear. Evan Mathis (vertical)

Mathis, released by the Eagles earlier this offseason, is considered one of the league’s best interior linemen. In 2014, despite playing just 608 offensive snaps, the former third-round pick ranked as the league’s best left guard, performing particularly well as a run blocker, according to Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required). PFF had previously graded Mathis as the NFL’s No. 1 guard in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Mathis was scheduled to earn a base salary of $5.5MM under his Eagles deal.

The Bills, Vikings, Dolphins, Rams, and Patriots were among the teams said to have varying levels of trade interest in him before Philly cut him loose. On Saturday, the Seahawks hosted Mathis on a visit but the two sides were apparently too far apart on compensation. The Broncos were not mentioned as a leading suitor for Mathis, but they have come away with his services.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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3 comments on “Broncos Sign Evan Mathis

  1. Rory Parks

    One of those rare occasions when an unnamed “mystery” team lands a big-time free agent. Perfect fit, though; in what may be his final season, Peyton needs to have his blind side protected, and having someone like Mathis sandwiched between a pair of unproven players will be a huge help.

  2. Sam Robinson

    This makes sense for both sides, with Denver desperately needing experience on the left side of its line and Mathis finding a contender for which to suit up. Going into the season with three first-time linemen protecting Manning would’ve been a huge and unnecessary gamble. Looks like they put the $4MM paycut to use, as they had $8MM+ in space still, albeit at an extremely late juncture.

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