Who Should Eagles Fans Believe Evan Mathis or Chip Kelly?
Finally Eagles head coach Chip Kelly spoke about the team's decision to release Evan Mathis, Kelly during a press conference today said the team made the decision to release Mathis after receiving several requests from his agent to cut him.
"We were asked by his agent for a release on multiple occasions," Kelly explained today during his press conference. "We weren't going to come to a conclusion in terms of a contract extension. We weren't going to extend any contract or adjust any contract, so we granted him what his agent asked for."
Many Eagles fans have wondered why the Eagles didn't just see if he would show up to the mandatory minicamps and honor his contract - something Mathis has said he was willing to do.
"That conversation had gone on for a long time," according to Kelly. "It wasn't addressed to us that that was going to happen. So, that's what we did moving forward."
There certainly seems to be a disconnect somewhere here Kelly is insinuating Mathis wasn't willing to play under his current five-year, $25 million deal, Mathis is saying he was willing to play under those terms.
"I don't know," said Kelly. "I mean, we went ‑‑ they obviously wanted a new contract and we weren't going to give them a new contract. They asked for the release, so we released him."
So who do we believe here Mathis ort Kelly?
I asked CSNPhilly.com Eagles insider Geoff Mosher on the Sports Bash on Tuesday.
"There is some discrepancy here," Mosher admitted. Honestly Chip has done this before where he says things - look he is still telling you that Howie Roseman is a guy he worked really well with and has no problems with, those aren't believable statements - and I think Chip is not making credible statements now."
Mosher went on to say that Mathis did ask for his release if they weren't going to redo his deal back in March so he would have the chance to test the free agent market while teams were still building their teams and had money to spend and work a guy like Mathis into their budget. However Kelly said there was no discussion to let him go before the free agent period started.
"No, because we were trying to see if we had draft options ‑‑ I mean, trade options," Kelly explained. "Going through the draft and knowing what conversations would happen then, went through the league meetings, didn't have any conversations or no one had any conversations with us about offering us anything, so we felt we waited as long as we possibly could to see if we could trade him."
Now that the Eagles waited so long to let him go, it will be much tougher for Mathis to find the money he is looking for since teams have spent their offseason money and signed draft picks.
"We felt that if he didn't want to be here, I wanted Evan to get everything he could get, and I hope it works out for him," Kelly explained. "He was great for us in the two years we had him. I like Evan a lot and if he wants to get released to see if he can get better, then we released him."
It looks like Kelly has a my way or the highway type of environment going on in Philadelphia - why not let Mathis show the team if he was going to report like he said he would, and see if he would become a distraction.
"It sure seems like Chip has an itchy trigger finger," Mosher said. "Any sign of counter-culture is pretty much going to land you on the hot seat and outta here."
But as Mosher pointed out, the strange thing here is the players that are here seem to back Kelly, almost in a cult like way. If you go back to when Andy Reid was in charge with Joe banner negotiating the contracts, it was very common for players to have gripes about their contracts - and when they did, their teammates either had their back or kept quiet on the matter.
"To hear all the players now talking about culture over talent, and culture is important here and if you're not with us you're against us - it's such a different tone than you would have heard five-or-six years ago," Mosher said. "It's strange to me."
(Listen to CSNPhilly.com Eagles insider Geoff Mosher discuss the Evan Mathis situation)