Speaking to reporters today, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly addressed the team’s release of Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis for the first time, explaining that Mathis’ agent asked multiple times for his client’s release. According to Kelly (all Twitter links), the club didn’t intend to alter Mathis’ contract, so after discussing all the possibilities, Philadelphia decided to let him go if he didn’t want to be there. The Eagles waited as long as they could to explore trade possibilities and to see how the draft and free agency played out before cutting the offensive lineman last week.
Kelly’s explanation doesn’t come as a real surprise, though I’m still somewhat skeptical that the Eagles couldn’t secure even a late-round pick for Mathis. It’s also worth noting that, in a similar situation, the Vikings didn’t give in to Adrian Peterson‘s agent demands, and now Peterson is saying all the right things as he prepares to play for Minnesota in 2015 without a reworked contract. The Eagles could’ve held their ground with Mathis, but it’s clear that Kelly prefers not to keep a player on the roster if he doesn’t view that player as a culture fit for his club.
Here’s more from around the NFL’s two East divisions:
- The NFLPA saw no wrongdoing on the Eagles‘ part regarding Mathis’ release, which was viewed as a contractual decision, so the team has been cleared, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
- Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has the details on Matt Flynn‘s one-year contract with the Patriots, tweeting that the quarterback gets a $20K signing bonus and a $60K roster bonus on his minimum salary benefit deal.
- Former Seahawks offensive lineman Nate Isles is trying out for the Bills today, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Isles, who signed a futures contract with Seattle at season’s end, was cut by the team last month.
- Offensive linemen Seantrel Henderson and Chris Williams aren’t in attendance for the Bills‘ first day of mandatory minicamp, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter links).
- Linebacker Rolando McClain was one of the Cowboys‘ best bargains last season, and he could be again in 2015, writes Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. As Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets, McClain has reported to Dallas’ minicamp after being absent from earlier offseason activities.