Evan Mathis and Mychal Kendricks Both No-Show’s for First Day of Offseason Workouts
Based on recent trade rumors and the status of their contracts, it seemed entirely possible that Eagles left guard Evan Mathis and linebacker Mychal Kendricks would choose to skip at least part if not all of the team's voluntary offseason program which started today.
That is reportedly the case.
Philadelphia its workout program on Monday, Mathis was not present for Monday's start of spring workouts and Kendricks was also a no-show for the first day of voluntary offseason workouts.
During an interview on The Sports Bash, CSNPhilly.com Eagles insider Geoff Mosher said he's not surprised at all by Mathis' absence. Money is at the root of the issue here, as the 33-year-old wants a raise on his scheduled $5.5 million base salary.
(Listen to CSNPhilly.com Eagles insider Geoff Mosher joined Mike Gill on the Sports Bash to discuss Mathis, Kendricks and more)
"I don't think scrip is going to follow last seasons," Mosher told "The Sports Bash". "The script started to look like last season, he went to the organization last offseason for a better contract, they said now and encouraged him to shop around and find a better offer - they would trade him if they found something in return, and nothing happened."
"Last year he reported, he played the good soldier about it, but he ends up getting the same response," Mosher continued. "To me that says the Eagles really aren't dying to keep the guy. I'm not saying they are dying to get rid of him, but they aren't going to redo his contract - the ball is in his court."
Mathis has been one of the top guards in football the last two seasons, but missed seven games last year with a knee injury. At 6'5 and 298 lbs., Mathis is an athletic guard, who fits well in a zone-blocking scheme, but Kelly might want to get away from that style and insert a more power running style of play. As Mosher pointed out, it seems highly unlikely that the Eagles would give Mathis a new contract based on the stance they took last offseason.
Meanwhile, Kendricks is entering the final year of his rookie deal and may be holding out in the hopes of a trade or long-term contract. A long-term deal looks unlikely, but many have speculated that he could be used in a draft day trade after the Eagles extended DeMeco Ryans' contract and acquired Kiko Alonso from the Bills in exchange for LeSean McCoy. All that coupled with the team's unwillingness to give Kendricks a new deal last offseason was about avoiding the precedent that would have been set by giving in to a player who was only two years into a four-year deal.
"Yeah Mychal Kendricks could be moved," ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen said as a guest of the Sports Bash on Monday. "But if they have a target (in a trade) where you want to go out and get a certain player, than Kendricks would be a commodity. "
Kendricks reportedly will join the Eagles' offseason workouts soon, he had a planned vacation in Costa Rica. One would wonder why he scheduled a trip for the first week of the offseason - but you might be able to see where this is headed.
Which is why it's hard to envision Philadelphia giving into Kendricks at least until after the draft - if at all.
It's not clear how much of the team's offseason program either guy intends to skip. Attendance isn't mandatory, but it doesn't look likely that Mathis will show, and now it appears Kendricks might join him the rest of the way.