Mathis – Let’s talk it out
By son of a son of a shula
I wanted to write about our O-line this week and I considered introducing the fringe guys since we all know the main players anyway. Then earlier in the week when Naple’s AFC comparison ran Old Dolphan said that our O-line among them had the most question marks and the worst depth or something to that effect. Not necessarily agreeing I went to each of the four teams web sites and put each teams O-line players into tables to see if anything stood out (I copied each players line from the official team rosters so it included size weight school years in and age). The Jets have 3 starters in their tenth year, the pats have two guys that share a birthday with my father for one and my brother the other one, the Bills have only one Center listed and the jets have the tallest lineman at 6’9 but besides that nothing really stood out in terms of some sort of viable comparison. All four teams have a range of guys who are young unheard of and BIG. Plus I just didn’t have the interest in doing internet research on all those fat-asses so I scrapped that idea.
The next thing I thought I would do is write a BS essay trying to convince you guys that our O-line would be better just because basically I was saying so. While I do have a strong hunch about Jamil Douglas it is however nothing more than that – a hunch. I do truly believe in Billy Turner and I’m anxious to watch his tenure start and I’m relying on Brandon Albert being back to have my thesis hold up. So I plodded through trying to sound enthusiastic and encouraging about the Dolphins O-line and I just couldn’t continue. I did have this:
From Hal Habib at the Palm Beach Post on 2/10/15:
“Ryan Tannehill was sacked an average of 2.1 times per game with Albert protecting his blind side, 3.6 without him, when rookie Ja’Wuan James slid from right tackle to left and Dallas Thomas started most of the remaining games on the right.”
So what happens?
Evan Mathis happens. He gets cut.
Evan Mathis is currently a Free Agent!
Now I’ve got something!
So 31 year old CJ Mosely is signed and out goes Kamal Johnson – poof like that. Progress stopper be damned we got us a seasoned vet and still have a litter full of pups with Anthony Johnson, Deandre Coleman and AJ Francis. Then why can’t the same thing happen on the O-line? As I’ve said repeatedly we have Suh, everything is different now. If you think you can get Mathis and he helps you win then go get Mathis and let’s go win.
Who cares if undrafted rookie, practice squad at best new guy gets cut. Mathis is a starter if you get him. I noticed this post from Gigi earlier:
Pro Football Focus @PFF 51s52 seconds ago
With Mathis being released by the Eagles today, here are the 5 teams with the biggest need at left guard:
Well then expect a bidding war and the winner isn’t going to have this guy ride the bench. He’s a starter the minute you sign him. It doesn’t matter how much you think Dallas Thomas is improving or if Jamil Douglas could actually steal the job you’ve got another seasoned vet plugged in as a starter. It’s even more crystal clear now that we better damn well be on a playoff run.
Do we even have a shot at Mathis? Those are some perennial playoff teams in the bidding. 49ers unfortunate offseason notwithstanding. Then I read the following:
June 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm (Edit)
Mathis played college football for the University of Alabama. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and has also played for the Miami Dolphins [in 2008], Cincinnati Bengals, and the Philadelphia Eagles. His uncle is Bob Baumhower, who played defensive tackle for Alabama and the Miami Dolphins.
Isn’t that interesting?
Of course we know as well that Mathis has indeed worked with Coach Lazor.
Maybe we have a chance.
Do we have the money?
I suspect they would be able to fit Mathis in the current cap although I don’t keep close tabs on the cap situation.
Let me say this though, since this has all been from a fan’s perspective, what if the team really does like the improvement in Thomas and they do think Douglas has a shot to steal the job and they aren’t even interested in anyone from the outside. What if that is true and the O-line goes out and just kicks ass? You’d have to hand it to Coach and Hickey for sticking to their guns. Could you sweat out the season if we don’t sign Mathis? Assuming Albert is healthy, there will be 3 first rounders surrounding a solid prospect in his second year in the system in Turner and either a 3rd yr vet coming into his own in Thomas or a fired up rookie who said he would and did take a job in Douglas. We may just simply be in a win – win situation in that case.
I like the reconstitution of the team through this off season. I like just about every move as I feel it was for the betterment of a stronger team culture without losing talent and in most cases significantly upgrading so I’m on board for however the Mathis Free Agency plays out. We saw the injuries pile up last season, hopefully it doesn’t happen again but it goes to show you can never have enough guys.
A new season of Orange is the New Black is currently streaming on Netflix – Enjoy