by Paul Wanecski
Word on the street has been pretty consistent, the Eagles are looking to trade Evan Mathis. For the last 5 years, the 33-year-old guard has been regarded as one of the best players at his position. Still, Chip Kelly is looking to move on.
So does this mean they will trade him? Absolutely it does and they are really in no rush. It is likely that they will hold on to Mathis through the draft, where teams are most often compelled to communicate more so than during the offseason. If the Eagles can not find a trade partner, Mathis and his $6.5 million salary could be released from the roster.
Now, with that being said, could the Bills toss a 3rd or 4th round selection at Chip Kelly to acquire Mathis? They most certainly could, the issue is his contract. To pick up a premier player at a position of need for a 3rd or 4th round selection is something every team would do. The issue becomes two fold for the Bills. Mathis feels he is underpaid, hence one of the reasons the Eagles are looking to get value for him. Secondly is the Bills current salary cap, with under $8 million in space. They could free up space by releasing several player such as Chris Williams or even injury plagued Marquise Goodwin, along with other small roster clean up moves. To be honest, we have not seen the roster turnover like we have with previous regime changes (think when Pettine came in, Nick Barnett was released almost immediately after leading the team in tackles the year before).
The price of Mathis is going to be low and the Eagles are going to take what they can get. The real question is if the Bills will seize the opportunity to fix the largest hole on the team that they have ignored all offseason.
With the signing of Charles Clay official, he is scheduled to make a $10 million roster bonus, which would immediately count against this years salary cap if restructured into a signing bonus. Without restructuring this the Bills have less than $8 million in remaining cap space. Restructuring Mario Williams, even to free up minimal cap space would give the space needed to sign this years draft class and absorb his $4.5 million cap number.