The Denver Broncos have reached a contract agreement with former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, per a release from the team. He apparently signed a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4 million with a base of $2.5 million.
Mathis, who was released from the Eagles earlier this offseason, had not taken any reported visits to Denver but the Broncos were always a destination that made sense. Per the team’s release:
“Evan Mathis is an accomplished veteran who has played at a very high level for the last several seasons,” GM John Elway said. “He will immediately make our team better, and we are excited to have him as part of the Denver Broncos.”
Mathis (6-foot-5, 301 pounds) is an 11th-year player who has appeared in 114 career regular-season games (78 starts) with Carolina (2005-07), Miami (2008), Cincinnati (2008-10) and Philadelphia (2011-14). He was selected by the Panthers in the third round (79th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft form the University of Alabama.
Also per the team release, Mathis has allowed just 5.5 sacks since 2011, the lowest in the NFL at his position.
What this move means
This move likely means that Mathis is penciled in as the starting left guard after he gets his game legs back, which should take a week or two. Right now, the starting left guard in Denver is rookie Max Garcia, who was apparently progressing well with the starting unit, but his being a rookie left the Broncos somewhat vulnerable at LT, LG, and C with no player recording a single snap in the NFL going into this season.
Adding Mathis adds stability, and could be a great move for Ty Sambrailo as well at left tackle. Without Mathis, the Broncos could have been vulnerable to extra blitzing and scheming against the left side of their offensive line. With Mathis, they might not have to worry about that as much.
As much as I’m a fan of the signing, I’m not overly thrilled that it means Max Garcia will move to the bench for the time being. Garcia can also play center, which he was really good at in college, but he also won’t be taking the job right now from Matt Paradis, who is PFF’s #3 graded player at the position so far this preseason.
This is an exciting move for the Broncos and another big free agent win for John Elway.
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