Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles have consistently shocked the NFL this offseason and they could be set to spring yet another surprise in the coming days.
Heading for the exit?
According to Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, the Eagles are prepared to release popular guard Evan Mathis as they bid to continue their roster overhaul.
There had been speculation that Mathis was on the trade block in Philadelphia but, even if the franchise fail to find an interested party in the coming weeks, it looks like the 2013 and 2014 Pro Bowler's time with the team could be coming to an end regardless.
Mathis has proved himself to be one of the NFL's top guards during his four year spell with the Eagles and, with Philly having made moves this offseason to bring them well below the salary cap, Chip Kelly's apparent desire to get rid of the veteran has left many bemused.
Still top class
The Eagles would save $6.5 million on their 2015 cap should they cut Mathis but the franchise are already $7-8 million below the mark. Unlike some other franchises the Eagles simply don't need to make decisions based solely on money right now.
What's more, although now 33, Mathis has shown no signs of drop off. Over the past four years Pro Football Focus have ranked him as either the number one guard (2011,2012,2013) or the number two in his position (2014).
He did miss seven regular season games last season through injury but returned in Week 10 and finished the season in fine form - his 2014 Pro Bowl appearance recognition of that.
Kelly taking control
The Eagles' apparent eagerness to part ways with Evan Mathis is yet another sign that head coach Chip Kelly is taking the opportunity to impose himself on the team.
According to the CSN Philly report, sources have revealed that it is "completely Kelly's" decision to shop (and potentially release) Mathis, with the aim believed to be to move more towards an emphasis on youth.
With the trade market for the guard described as "looking dry" it looks like Philly aren't willing to hold fire on this plan meaning, despite an excellent four years of service, Mathis' advancing years could cost him a job with the Eagles.
Fortunately for the player there are likely to be plenty of NFL teams willing to look past his age should he land on the free agent market this month.
What do you think Eagles fans? Is this a sign Chip Kelly has too much control, or are you backing the head coach's bold offseason plans? Let us know in the comments section below...
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