New York Giants Should Try Signing Evan Mathis


The New York Giants are still searching for ways to replace Will Beatty along the offensive line. While Evan Mathis may play a different position, he would help stabilize the unit while Beatty recovers. It would be smart for the Giants to try and sign the former Philadelphia Eagle, who was released Thursday.

For the New York Giants, improving the offense line was at the top of their priority list this offseason. They have been doing it over the past couple of seasons, using high draft picks on Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and then their first round pick on Ereck Flowers this offseason. They also signed veterans such as Geoff Schwartz and John Jerry as things looked to finally be coming together.

But, everything became unglued when Will Beatty tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights this offseason, putting the Giants in a huge hole. Beatty was the only player the Giants had locked into a spot along the offensive line, as he has started over 40 consecutive games as Eli Manning’s blindside protector, and not missed a game since 2011. This was going to enable them to strengthen their offensive line by moving Pugh over to guard, and Flowers take over at guard.

That is no longer an option, at least for the first half of the season, as Beatty’s recover timetable places him being able to return midway through the season. By that time, the Giants season could be in shambles if they are to rely too heavily on the rookie Flowers, or a veteran such as Jerry or Marshall Newhouse being forced into a regular role. To avoid such a problem, the Giants need to get into the Evan Mathis sweepstakes.

Despite being one of the better guards in the NFL as a two-time Pro Bowler and one time member of the All-Pro team, Mathis fell out of favor quickly with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Mathis had skipped voluntary workouts the past couple of seasons hoping for more money from the Eagles, or a trade to a team that would accommodate his demands. Being the way he, Kelly would not budge, which gets us to where we are now.

At 34-years of age, Mathis was due $5.5 million this season in base salary. His hopes to get an increase on that landed him on the free agent market, as Kelly and the Eagles had enough and released him Thursday.

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There will be plenty of suitors for Mathis, including the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots; that is a group the Giants need to become a part of.

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For the Giants, Mathis would bring a steadying influence after losing Beatty. They have been thrown for a loop, but getting a player the caliber of Mathis at this point in the offseason would be huge. He would push Jerry to a bench role, where he belongs as a part-time player and backup. It would also give the Giants two strong veterans on the interior to help offset the relative youth they may have at tackle in Pugh and Flowers. Also, if Flowers is forced into a starting role because of the Beatty injury, it would be nice to have a steady veteran such as Mathis next to him instead of an inconsistent one like Jerry.

Mathis would represent an immediate upgrade for the Giants on the offensive line, and provide them with some insurance in case Beatty cannot return to full strength this season, even though they play different positions. If Beatty does come back healthy, the Giants would then be looking at an extremely strong unit, giving Flowers the ability to sit back a little bit, learning and honing his craft as the Giants had hoped for when they selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Obviously the Giants will need to decide if Mathis fits into their plans financially. The Giants stick to their guns when negotiating with their own free agents, so you can be sure they will not give into the demands of a free agent like Mathis if he does not come near their numbers.

They also have to think a little down the road, as they are facing a potentially franchise altering offseason in 2016 as Manning and Jason Pierre-Paul, arguably their offensive and defensive cornerstones, are both set to hit the market as unrestricted free agents. With that in mind, the Giants will certainly be even more conscious about their cap.

If Mathis can be fit into it, you can bet on the Giants becoming players among the other teams mentioned. If he cannot, they will move on with what they have and make it work to the best of their abilities.

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