New England Patriots Should Trade For Guard Evan Mathis


According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots are interested in trading for Eagles offensive guard Evan Mathis. The Eagles want to unload Mathis (although they really seem to want to unload everybody), and I think it would be a good move for the Pats to go and get him.

From Howe:

"They have expressed interest in acquiring Eagles left guard Evan Mathis in a trade, according to a source. It appears the Eagles are poised to move Mathis, who was a Pro Bowler the past two seasons, but it’s unclear how many teams are in the bidding and how realistic the Patriots’ chances would be to land the 33-year-old.Mathis would come with base salaries of $5.5 million in 2015 and $6 million in 2016."

Yes, Mathis is getting up there in age, but with Dan Connolly a free agent, and Ryan Wendell far from satisfactory as a starting guard, I want to see New England try and add Mathis for the 2015 season. As Howe mentions, Mathis’ base salary is $5.5 million next year, and while that does seem a bit much, the Patriots have cap room to work with now that they don’t have to pay Darrelle Revis.

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Now the question becomes, what will Philly want in exchange for their Pro Bowl guard? My thinking is not much, at least in general terms. A late draft pick or two seems feasible, and if I’m the Patriots, I jump at that chance. Tom Brady has the weapons he needs on offense (although they need to address the running back position), but if he doesn’t have time in the pocket, it won’t matter. The offensive line held up nicely last season, but Connolly may not return, and Mathis would help stabilize the interior, which was shaky in itself in 2014.

In addition to this, we have to take into consideration the decline of New England’s defense. Now I realize free agency is far from over, and we still have the draft to get into, but unless the Pats decide to trade for Richard Sherman, their defense is going to be much worse this season. Revis is gone, Browner is gone, and Wilfork is gone (for now), and while the Pats will undoubtedly add more talent to the front seven, the defense as a whole just won’t be the same.

Enter offense.

We have been in this position before in New England. From 2010-12, the offense completely carried the defense, and it nearly resulted in a Super Bowl championship. We have the quarterback, we have the weapons, we just need the offensive line. In those years, and particularly 2011 when we went to the Super Bowl, that offensive line was superb. They gave Brady all the time in the world, and that allowed him to average in the high 30’s all year long.

This offense has the potential to do that once again in 2015, but they need to give Brady enough time in the pocket, and they need a line that can do something in the running game. If the Patriots can bring in Mathis, even if it is for a one-year rental, he will help solidify the offensive line, and help this offense carry a defense that will not be elite next season.

Make it happen, Bill.