Thursday reminded NFL fans of an important: Chip Kelly is insane.
He might be a good insane, he could be a bad insane or he might be somewhat insane. Nonetheless, Kelly is insane.
After threatening to trade offensive guard Evan Mathis, Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles released the disgruntled 11-year pro—who was unhappy with his current contract, per ESPN’s Phil Sheridan.
Multiple teams have been connected to the now-free agent, but which franchises would Mathis help the most?
The rich get richer, right?
Well, the Seattle Seahawks lost Pro Bowl-caliber guard James Carpenter to the New York Jets in free agency. Mathis, the second-rated guard last season per Pro Football Focus (subscription required) despite playing just nine games, could step into that vacated spot and join a Super Bowl contender.
For a player who turns 34 in November, jumping on board a potential championship-bound train wouldn’t be such a bad deal.
San Francisco 49ers
Following an offseason full of retirements and departures, the San Francisco 49ers could use a pleasant addition.
Mike Iupati inked a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Brandon Thomas as the favorite to start. He’s been praised by coach Jim Tomsula, but Thomas—after sustaining an ACL injury last April—still hasn’t played an NFL game.
While San Francisco may be willing to venture into the unknown with Thomas, signing a proven commodity in the 6’5″, 298-pound Mathis would be smart, too.
When the Denver Broncos hired Gary Kubiak as their new head coach, the franchise willingly brought in a run-focused offensive mind to a shotgun-oriented attack.
However, the Broncos traded Manny Ramirez on draft night. Now, Ben Garland and Shelley Smith—a pair of unimpressive career backups—are vying for the starting position.
Mathis would be a perfect fit in Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme, and Peyton Manning would undoubtedly benefit from a veteran presence alongside rookie left tackle Ty Sambrailo.
Ryan Tannehill could be a franchise quarterback. But, if the Miami Dolphins don’t afford him any more protection, Tannehill might limp out of the league by the end of his six-year contract.
Dallas Thomas—who received an abysmal -32.7 rating from PFF—and Billy Turner—who logged a total of 17 snaps last season—are currently penciled in as the starters. Smith and Daryn Colledge struggled, too.
The main issue with Miami signing Mathis is the team has already committed hundreds of millions of dollars to Tannehill, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and center Mike Pouncey. Spending more money might not be feasible.
However, that doesn’t change the clear impact and upgrade Mathis would provide for the Dolphins.
Photo: USA Today Sports