Don’t Hold Breath Over Evan Mathis

June 12th, 2015
Unlikely to wear a Bucs uniform.

Unlikely to wear a Bucs uniform.

Yes, Joe noticed how Bucs fans awoke from a June slumber on Twitter when Eagles chieftain Chip Kelly unloaded guard Evan Mathis yesterday. Suddenly, they envisioned Mathis in the Bucs starting lineup.

Joe is going to guess the braintrust of the Bucs has other dreams (as to Joe’s dreams, he cannot go into much detail other than to say they involve either a sultry brunette or a buxom blonde, or a bouncy redhead who sings like an angel and can play Angus Young tunes on a guitar).

First off, Mathis is not eligible for waivers. He is what is referred to as a “vested veteran,” a player with four or more years in the league. Those players become free agents upon release, meaning Mathis can sign with any team; the Bucs cannot claim him.

If you were Mathis, why exactly would you want to play for last year’s worst team, which also is breaking in a rookie quarterback? It’s fair to suggest Mathis prefers a team that has a legit shot at a Super Bowl or a club that throws a bank vault at him.

And Joe doesn’t believe the Bucs will throw a bank vault at him.

Let’s be real here: The Bucs don’t believe they have a shot at a Super Bowl run this season. That’s not subversive thinking for a team coming off a 2-14 season with a rookie quarterback starting.

Also, Joe knows that the Bucs hierarchy really, really, really likes Ali Marpet. They think they have a potential stud, but at the same time realize he is going to have a learning curve coming from Division-III.

For Marpet to get over that learning curve, he needs snaps. To bring in Mathis, who turns 34 this fall and banged up, that would stunt Marpet’s development. The Bucs didn’t draft Marpet in the second round so he might get a chance to start in three years.

Also, and this is fair, more than a few teams are spooked by Mathis spraining a knee last year at his age. That is not a good combination for an offensive lineman. Mathis, for any team, is a very short-term fix.

44 Responses to “Don’t Hold Breath Over Evan Mathis”

  1. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Another great piece explaining what is going on. This is one of the reasons I come here….I learn something almost every visit from either one of the Joes or a poster. Today’s lesson for me…

    He is what is referred to as a “vested veteran,” a player with four or more years in the league. Those players become free agents upon release, meaning Mathis can sign with any team;

    I was unaware of that fact! Thanks for the education. This means we can remove visions of some great vet falling out with his coach and ending up with us via the waiver wire.

    Still lots of nice young talent will show up but I’m glad to learn the limitations of the advantage.

  2. MadMax Says:

    Its according to how bad Marpet’s injury is. If its bad, Mathis would be worth going after, IMO.

  3. Evo Says:

    Doesn’t market need to be signed still? Signing Mathis for 1 year for about the same as mankins seems like a smart move. Another guy to show the young guys the ropes. Plus they can learn a year while the vets play.

    Signing Mathis would send a message to marpet. Get signed and get signed now if you want to play this year. And gives us quality depth. Something joe and everyone else sees we don’t have.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You’d think he would jump at the chance to come in and protect “America’s Quarterback”

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Marpet is already signed Evo.
    Licht should at least be making exploratory phone calls to Mathis’ agent. He probably won’t come here like you pointed out Joe – but any and all opportunities to improve OLine talent level better at least be explored.

  6. Eric Says:

    Ali signed yesterday and has been at practice which is allowed by the rules before training camp.

    He apparently has been slowed by a hammy.

    Mathis would be nice but they probably are gun shy after las years Oline free agent disasters.

    I say skip it and develop what we got.

  7. bucco brice Says:

    Mathis at RG…Marpet could play RT and Dotson’s “leverage” disappears…Mathis is a good short term fix…1 year contract

  8. MadMax Says:

    No way Marpet plays RT…..thats the side every teams star DE/DT would be hawking on. We need to PAY DOTSON NOW!!! He just wants what he’s worth. Pay him!!

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    This is a full on rebuild! I really don’t think they will bring in more stop-gaps as the plan seems to be to struggle with the rookies and hope they will develop!!!

  10. Rrsrq Says:

    The Bucs are moving forward with youth and players they can develop, their veteran presence is Mankins and Jackson on offense already. Don’t see them going after another 30 something.

  11. Joe Says:


    Thanks for the kind words.


    Bingo! They are gun-shy from last year. Look who they did sign: Guys were for the most part were cost-friendly, role players.

  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    How the hell would Mathis stunt Marpet’s grow?

    Great coaches for years have spent 2nd & 3rd round picks, on stud prospects to be groomed and mentored be quality veterans. The key here before we get all sadity, is to protect the QB and win games-right?

    There’s no way you throw a rookie lineman from a D3 school-in the lineup to protect you 1st overall Pick Rookie QB. Your asking for a train wreck to happen, one that will stunt your Qb’s growth (literally)

    If you Licht -did the smart move and signed Mathis, and somehow Marpet- beats out Mathis (highly unlikely). Then he deserves it.

    Sign Mathis. Strengthen the offensive line with an All-Pro Vet, at the same time improve depth. WIN WIN

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Great coaches for years have spent 2nd & 3rd round picks, on stud prospects to be groomed and mentored *by quality vets.

  14. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Joe, don’t forget a lot of them are also guys that they’ve seen play Tampa 2. Less projection.

  15. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I am worried about Carter though. I have a feeling he won’t end 2015 as starting MLB. He might not even begin the season in that role. That’s a long shot though.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Example just look at KC has done over the past 5yrs. They let guys like Brian Waters & others mentor Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah- Then them same kats groom the dudes like Rodney Hudson, Jeff Allen, Eric Fischer, Donald Stephenson.

    How many lineman have they lost to free agency the last couple of years? Yet the next guy up is most cases, isn’t missing a beat.

    Cindy does the same thing…

  17. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I have to agree with Luv. Any Vet mentor we could get would be a plus. And the fact that it could help keep Winston on his feet at the same time.

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So we praise the Likes of Todd Herremans & Daniel Connolly. And Turn Nose Up to notion of us picking up Evan Mathis? Huh? where they do that at?

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Cindy does the same thing/Cincinnati Bungles do the same thing

  20. Martinii Says:

    Who would you rather have, Mathis or Gilkey?

  21. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I want Andrew Whitworth

  22. Jeagan1999 Says:

    If you just bought a shiny new sports car, you don’t leave it parked outside, you stick it in the garage and protect it. Make Mathis a 1 year deal with an option for a second if he performs well. Our O-line was completely PUTRID last season and with two rookies possibly starting this year, there’s no reason to believe they are suddenly going to be any better. Get some veteran help until the young guys prove they can handle it!

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Exactly! Nah better yet -how about Patrick Omameh, Kadeem Edwards or Jeremiah Warren…smh. Apparently they want to win & win now.

    Because there’s literally no way they could justify keeping Logan Mankins, and his $7 million/Non-guaranteed contract on books-if they didn’t.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    You protect Jameis the kid at all costs.

  25. tmaxcon Says:

    BuccaneEric75 Says:
    June 12th, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I am worried about Carter though. I have a feeling he won’t end 2015 as starting MLB. He might not even begin the season in that role. That’s a long shot though.


    I feel the same exact way. he is a good player not great. He also has very limited experience at MLB which he was NO star. It’s a big gamble similar to Collins last year asking a guy to start 16 games at a position he has not played consistently.

  26. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    The way I see it, the entire focus of this season should be Winstons development. Giving him time to throw should be priority number 1. Giving rookies playing time to get experience is nice. Let’s do that with every position BUT O-Line! Keep Winston upright!

  27. tmaxcon Says:


    I am with you. Go get mathis. They are going to have to over pay to entice him to come. At his age obviously a contender or even a 500 team has better shot at him.

    I can’t see how it would hurt marpet either. If marpet beats him out than thats the best case scenario if you marpet struggles you have veteran stop gab for one year or two.

    People were bitching about Lovie gifting jobs last year. He is doing it this year again just hiding it with BS….

    They have already gifted jobs based on no competition at the position. MLB, LT and RG specifically. That should be very obvious to even a causal fan.

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @87′, 85′

    Yes Sirrrr


    Sure you can’t really speak, about the LB’s until the pads come on. But I haven’t heard anything positive about him OTA’s so far.

  29. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Tmaxx, I agree. The Bucs have plenty of money to “overpay” on some one year deals. May be worth more to make the deal in the long run. Protect Jameis!

  30. tmaxcon Says:


    My skepticism with Carter lies in three areas Injuries for one. Second, he is switching positions. He has not played a lot of MLB and when he has it was not spectacular. In my opinion, they should have a back up plan at MLB and I currently do not see that on the roster. I don’t have an issue with Carter just the fact we are going all in without a backup plan on a MLB with injury history and will be playing a new postion. So those are my concerns injury history, lack of experience at MLB and the fact there is no emergency backup plan. That is why I was so supportive them going after the Philly cat… we were screwed last year because of very similar gambles.

  31. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I think the backup plan is Alexander.

  32. tmaxcon Says:


    You maybe correct sir and I am ok with that. Love that dudes quickness and hustle.

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I agree brotha-That’s why I’m still holding out hope, we make a trade for MLB Mychal Kendricks

  34. ThunderBuc81 Says:

    The thing is he cant be claimed. He’s a free man. Even if the Bucs offered him a 1 yr. deal and another team which from last year would be a better team offered just a little more he would take it over the Bucs deal. Did everyone forget the reason he was released was because he was holding out for money? He wanted more than the 5yr 25M contract he already had. How much money are you guys thinking he is worth on a 1yr deal that he would actually consider accepting? He’s 34 and nicked up. Yes he’s a stud but he’s also on the downhill side of his career.

  35. Harry Says:

    Holy sh!t Joe, that girl is friggin hot, AND has a voice like an angel. I would love for us to sign Mathis, but since we all know the Bucs won’t, I am going to watch more you tube videos of Jess!!! My next one will be Bon movies Wanted Dead Or Alive! Lmao

    Also can’t believe all these horn dogs in here didn’t even comment on Ms Greenburg! Lol

  36. MadMax Says:


    Keep preaching it Brotha!!!! Im short on time but your spilling everything Im thinking!!!! Carry on my Brother….

  37. Mike10 Says:

    Look Joe, I get your points, but I think spending too much time @ OBP has they lavish lacker getting to your head. This “hopefully they work out talk” (for a 2nd straight year) is dumb.

    To play it safe (and smart) anytime you have potential or rookie in the same sentence as a player (1st overall aside), go ahead and put a line through their name in terms of an intended starter. L+L are playing w FIRE (next year and beyond) starting rookies across the OL in front of a rookie QB your ENITRE franchise is dependent upon! Plain and simple!

    I’ve seen too many of those NFL films vids where for every Tom Brady that was given time to grow and learn by the fire behind a quality OL, there’s a Joey Harrington who got smacked around his first year and never recovered.

    Don’t care how high they are on Marpet, he’s going from D3 to Pros. You develop that kind of (presumed) talent, and yes, your reap the benefits of that development in 2-3 years… esp starting behind a pro bowler.

    And how do you get Mathis in here? Idk, throw some of the money you threw at an unproven talent like Collins at a proven Pro Bowler. Worst case he mentors. Or you have Mankins get on the phone and invite him to a Cook out.

    Sure Mathis might want a shot at a ring. Well there’s no guarantee a team in contention will give him what he wants. So what’s second to winning a super bowl, hopefully, leaving your mark on a team. He’d surely be appreciated, and unlike Mankins, would make the choice to join.

  38. TampaRob Says:

    OK- so maybe the time and place are a bit different, but I could see Mathis in a Lomas Brown type of role. Given the fact that George Warhop has not had a ton of success as a ‘builder of talent’ at any point in his career it might be helpful to have some veteran guys in addition to Mankins who can be player/coaches. Not only that but could do spot duty as needed.

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    Whether or not Mathis wants to play here is irrelevant. You have to at least try. You got plenty of cap space and huge holes to fill on the line. How can you at least not try?

    Whether or not we are contending for the Super Bowl is also irrelevant. Are we trying to win games or not? You got a rookie QB and you arent doing everything you can to help him out? This is the kind of stupidity that makes me doubt Lovie competence to coach a quality team.

  40. Couch Fan Says:

    This guy over pays for unproven players but refuses to go after established vets. Makes no sense to me. And who are the ones who suffer the most? The fans who have to patiently sit through losing season after losing season with this team.

  41. Mike10 Says:

    There u go Couch

  42. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    tmaxcon Says:
    June 12th, 2015 at 9:16 am
    BuccaneEric75 Says:
    June 12th, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I am worried about Carter though. I have a feeling he won’t end 2015 as starting MLB. He might not even begin the season in that role. That’s a long shot though.


    I feel the same exact way. he is a good player not great. He also has very limited experience at MLB which he was NO star.

    Guys I remember hearing comments like those about Shelton Quarles. He was an NFL bust run out of the league by the Dolphins…stayed in football for two years by playing in the CFL…he comes to the Bucs and blossoms. We’ve seen this happen before it can happen again.

    Now TMAX I was unaware of injury issues because I do not like the Cowboys and rarely watch them. But that would certainly be a valid concern if he’s had problems.

  43. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    St.Pete, I hope your right. If he’s anything like Quarles then we got a steal. I still think the Bucs like Alexander in the middle more than they’re letting on. Remember, it’s like my wife tells me! Size doesn’t matter in the Tampa 2. I’m not sure why she talks about the Tampa 2 in the bedroom! Weird!

  44. bucsbedabest Says:

    Carter does have a history of injuries. LB looks good with depth for the Bucs with Kwon Alexander and Rasheed Greene. Carter had an ACL injury in his left knee during his senior season with North Carolina. In his first year in the NFL he spent his rookie season recovering from the college knee injury. In his second year he was placed on injured reserve for the final five games, after dislocating his left elbow on Thanksgiving Day, 2012. In 2013, Carter was benched for two games. In 2014, he suffered a right quadricep injury against the New Orleans Saints and was lost for three games. In November, Carter lost his starting role after the game against the Arizona Cardinals. Carter finished the season strong while concentrating on the nickel defense and special teams, finishing with 68 tackles, 5 interceptions (led the team, one for TD), 8 passes defensed and a blocked punt. Carter also blocked punts in his freshman, sophomore (5 blocked kicks) and senior years with the Tar Heels.