ESPN’s Adam Schefter had previously reported on Thursday that Evan Mathis may not keep the meeting because he had interest from other teams.
Mathis, who was released by the Eagles last month, has been connected to a few different teams in various rumors over the last few weeks. The New York Jets reached out to his agent in early August before deciding that his price point was too high, while the Dolphins were reportedly interested too, but only if his price came down.
Mathis is 33, but he is also arguably the best guard in football. Over the last four seasons, he ranked first in three of those years and second in the other (despite playing only nine games) among guards in Pro Football Focus’ grading system. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in both 2013 and 2014. He is particularly effective as a run-blocker, and he helped clear the way for LeSean McCoy and one of the NFL’s most effective running games over the last few years.
Seattle would make a nice fit for Mathis. Putting Mathis in front of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch would help clear the way for what has been one of the league’s best rushing attacks despite rather pedestrian blocking at times. The Seahawks also lost two of their best interior linemen this offseason. Guard James Carpenter signed with the Jets, while center Max Unger was included in the Jimmy Graham trade. The Seahawks’ offensive line looked like a mess in their preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, with Wilson getting strip-sacked by Von Miller on the second play from scrimmage as the most prominent example.
The fit here might come down to money. The Jets deemed Mathis too expensive for their tastes despite having just over $5.2 million in cap space with which to sign him. The Seahawks, per Spotrac, have slightly more than $5.3 million in cap space right now. Some of that needs to be saved for bonuses and incentives for players on the roster, and they also have star safety Kam Chancellor holding out for more money right now. Mathis supposedly wants a salary commensurate with the $5.1 million base pay he would have gotten from the Eagles this season, which makes sense for him but may not for his suitors.