NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents free agent guard Evan Mathis, dropped an interesting nugget of news this past weekend. In an interview Friday on Miami’s Channel 7 Sports Xtra, Rosenhaus said that he heard that Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is exerting more influence on the team, that the front office is very much open to his ideas, and that Tannehill is actively lobbying the team to sign Evan Mathis.
Caution must be taken when considering these comments, as an agent’s job is to lobby on behalf of their clients. Earlier this month, Rosenhaus said that as many as ten teams have reportedly shown interest in Mathis.
Mathis, set to be paid $5.5 million in 2015, was cut earlier this month by the Eagles, partly as a cost-saving move, and partly because he didn’t get along well with head coach Chip Kelly. Rosenhaus reported last week that he had received interest in Mathis from “at least a half a dozen” teams since being waived, but declined to name any of those teams.
"I can tell you that this deal will happen at any time, or it may still take between now and training camp to get it done," Rosenhaus said. "There are several teams that are in the mix right now, and we don't want to discourage anybody from pursuing it." Again, these are typical comments from a player agent trying to drum up interest in his client. Mathis is one of the top guards in the league, but teams, including Miami, are likely hesitant to give a 33-year-old guard the kind of long-term money Mathis is seeking.
Miami is currently experimenting with a combination of third-year player Dallas Thomas, second-year player Billy Turner, and rookie Jamil Douglas at the guard positions on the offensive line. "I like the guys that we have," said head coach Joe Philbin. "There's no question in my mind that they'll be capable of doing the job. I think they just need experience, they need repetition, they need exposure, they need to work with (Mike) Pouncey and the guy next to them and get it figured out. It may not be as pretty as we want it day one of training camp, but I think they are great guys, football is important to them. These guys have been working extremely hard."
While Mathis would certainly be a strong addition to the team, the Dolphins don’t appear to be in a rush to overpay for his services, and their public comments have sent the message that they have confidence in the young players currently on the roster. This is in marked contrast to Rosenhaus' comments. While Miami is still considered to be very much in the Mathis sweepstakes, and the Dolphins will certainly continue to evaluate the position, Mathis’ contract demands may price him out of Miami’s market and you can be sure that Tannehill is well aware of that.
As the leader and face of the franchise, Tannehill certainly has considerable input with the team and coaches. We don't know everything that goes on behind closed doors. While it is certainly possible that Tannehill is lobbying for Mathis, it's also quite possible that this is a power move by Rosenhaus to get a deal done quickly - whether it's with the Dolphins or someone else. Stay tuned, as there surely will be more to come!
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball.
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