It was reported a while back that the Miami Dolphins were not at all interested in trading for the Eagles 2-time Pro Bowl guard, and that report was apparently quite accurate. However, as many speculated beforehand, the Eagles finally decided to sever their ties with the 33-year old offensive lineman after refusing to join in the Eagles OTAs and threatening to skip out on voluntary mini-camp.
Mathis was set to make $5.5 million this upcoming year, and his being cut saves the Eagles that number on their salary cap. Mathis has been rated as the top overall guard by Pro Football Focus for the past several years, and the Eagles run a zone-blocking scheme just like the Dolphins do, which would make Mathis a seamless fit on an offensive line that has been struggling to keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill on his feet ever since his rookie season.
The issue here is that Mathis has been searching for a new deal, and that was the main factor in Mathis' unwillingness to attend the Eagles' practices. Now that he has been released, if the Dolphins want to bring him in, they would likely have to make sure that they outbid teams who are also in danger of having a below-average offensive line, such as the New England Patriots.
The Dolphins do have good standing with Mathis' agent Drew Rosenhaus, and Mathis' uncle is former Dolphins great Bob Baumhower, but in the end it appears that the team with the most money to give will be the ones to win out. The veteran lineman has shown through his actions throughout this offseason that his goal is to get paid one more time before his career is over, and he isn't really in the wrong for wanting that.
Mathis has been Pro Football Focus' top rated guard for the past several years, and his ability in the zone-blocking scheme, as already mentioned, makes him a perfect fit, especially with the Dolphins firmly in win-now mode. Numbers being thrown around by many individuals are in the realm of $8 million over two years, but that would mean Mathis would be making less than he was going to. If the market winds up dry for the money Mathis wants, then perhaps the Dolphins might be able to swoop in and sign him to slightly more team friendly deal.
Whether the Dolphins actually land him or not is anyone's guess, but there would be no excuse for the Dolphins to not at least make the attempt. If they're serious about winning right now, then shoring up the offensive line is the best way to do that, and Mathis is the best man available for the job. The team should definitely be interested, and it's time for the Dolphins to go all out and aim for the stars.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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