Evan Mathis will take over for recently traded offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, who was shipped by the Arizona Cardinals to New England in exchange for pass rusher Chandler Jones.
Albert Breer of NFL Network first reporting Mathis has agreed to a one-year contract worth $6 million to play for the Cardinals this year. Adam Caplan of ESPN added this:
Mathis deal is actually up to $6,000,069. Wore #69 with Broncos, Eagles.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 16, 2016
What a tremendous couple of moves.
Many wondered how the Cardinals would address the loss of Cooper, who was starting to look like a first-rounder after a couple of disappointing seasons.
Mathis could be considered an upgrade, meaning the Cardinals got the pass-rusher they needed in Jones and didn’t lose anything in the exchange but a second-round pick.
A two-time Pro Bowler and one-time First-Team All-Pro, Mathis is about to play in his 12th NFL season, with Arizona being his fifth NFL team.
This now sets up the Cardinals to have a tremendous interior line, with Mathis joining guard Mike Iupati and center AQ Shipley.
Mathis was a big player last year for the Denver Broncos, starting 12 games and all three postseason contests on his way to winning a Super Bowl. He now joins another Super Bowl contender in the Cardinals, who look prepared to take the next step in 2016.