Yesterday the Philadelphia Eagles released offensive lineman Evan Mathis, and now the inevitable question becomes, will the Patriots try to go after the Pro-Bowler? New England had expressed interest in trading for Mathis when he was being shopped by the Eagles, so I think Bill Belichick and company will be very aggressive in trying to sign Mathis now that he is on the open market.
Coming into this offseason I had pegged the interior of the offensive line as the biggest need for the Patriots, and they went ahead and addressed that spot in the draft. They haven’t re-signed last year’s starter Dan Connolly, but they drafted Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason, two maulers on the inside that will contribute for years to come. Jackson in particular is a great talent, and a lot of people think he can be the kind of every week starter that Bryan Stork was for the Patriots last season.
With that said, I still think the Pats should sign Evan Mathis. Long-term, yes, Jackson is the plan, but he is still a rookie and he will need time to develop. Mathis on the other hand is a proven stud, who could come in right away and help protect Tom Brady‘s blindside. This would not only give New England a more talented starting five, but it would give them even more depth up front, as Jackson, Mason, and Marcus Cannon would all be ready to spell the top guys.
Tom Brady has a plethora of weapons to utilize on offense this year, and because of that, I truly believe this team can have the best offense in football. The only thing that could prevent them from storming through the league is bad offensive line play, particularly at the left guard spot. If the Pats sign Mathis, that problem goes away, and they don’t have to gamble on a rookie (Jackson) panning out in his first season like Stork did in 2014.
Go get him, Belichick.