The Philadelphia Eagles have re-signed starting left guard Evan Mathis to a five-year deal worth $25 million, which includes $7 million in guaranteed money, according to a report by ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter. His contract can reach up to $31.25 million with incentives.
He turned down an offer from the Baltimore Ravens, who he recently visited with. In typical Mathis fashion, he announced his re-signing by tweeting, “To all the Eagles fans who offered me various food and incentives to return… I’ve come to collect. #FLY”
Mathis, 30, signed a one-year deal last offseason and was not expected to be a starter. After all, he was a career journeyman who made just 22 starts in six seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, and Cincinnati Bengals.
But he was plugged into a starting role when Ryan Harris, the team’s expected starter at right tackle, couldn’t stay healthy and Todd Herremans was moved from left guard to right tackle.
All he did last season was turn in the best season by any offensive lineman in the National Football League, according to Pro Football Focus, starting 15 games and registering a +34.6 rating. By comparison, the next best offensive lineman was Houston Texans center Chris Myers, who collected a +29.8 rating.
Mathis was absolutely dominant in run blocking. His score of +20.4 was almost three times as good as the next best guard in football.
As for pass blocking? Mathis didn’t allow a single sack in 1024 plays this season. Not one. (By the way, he didn’t allow a sack in 114 plays in 2010, or in 648 plays in 2009, or in 63 plays in 2008. He has not allowed a sack in the past four seasons, which is as far as Pro Football Focus’s game logs date back. That’s 1849 plays without allowing a sack for those of you without a calculator.)
Mathis rated positive in every single game that he played last season. Every one. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is usually blamed for the Eagles’ 21-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in week ten, but that was the only game all season that Mathis missed due to injuries, and you have to wonder if the Eagles would have been able to win had he played.
According to Pro Football Focus’s well-respected rankings, Mathis was the 12th best player in the National Football League last season. Not bad for a 30-year old guy who nobody had ever heard of when he was initially signed as an insurance player.
Mathis will be 31 at the start of next season. His contract keeps with him with the Eagles through 2016, at which point he’ll be 35.