The Philadelphia Eagles released Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis today. The Miami Dolphins have a giant question mark surrounding the guard position. The two teams had previously been linked in trade rumors that would have sent Mathis to Miami. Now, that he is a free agent, the Dolphins could look to sign him, without losing another player or draft pick.
But should they?
Mathis, a two-time Pro Bowl guard, was scheduled to make $5.5 million this season from the Eagles, with another $1 million counting against the cap due to the prorated signing bonus. He was also under contract for the 2016 season, where his base salary would have been $6 million, with another $1 million from the signing bonus counting against the cap. The Eagles will carry $2 million in dead money for Mathis, $1 million this year, and $1 million next, but should come away with $5.5 million in savings.
If he was unhappy with a $5.5 million salary this season, what will be his asking price? A team could come in and give him a signing bonus that would prorate over the life of the deal (up to five years), with a low base salary this season, but Mathis is likely looking for a big money contract.
According to the NFL Players Association website, the Dolphins are currently $8.75 million under this year's salary cap. They have to worry about next year's cap space in making any deal, as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's contract jumps massively in 2016, but they could have the space to bring in Mathis, assuming the team can work the numbers correctly. It is a position of need, with a proven commodity on the market. But, he could be expensive.
You are now making the decision for the Dolphins, what do you do?