Offensive lineman Evan Mathis has signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The move bolsters a Broncos offensive line that's been the team's top concern through the offseason.
Mathis' contract with the Broncos could pay him as much as $4 million this season, if he hits all the incentives built into the deal, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Rapoport added that Mathis turned down a deal with another team worth $5.5 million because he wanted to play for a contender.
On Monday, Broncos president John Elway tipped his cap, saying that the team was looking to find some help for it's front five. "We're looking at all options. If we can find a player who can help us there as the season approaches, we'll look at it," Elway said.
Mathis was in Seattle for a visit over the weekend, and a decision was expected soon after that. The free agent lineman was holding back on negotiations with other teams until he met with Seattle on Saturday.
Evan Mathis will go thru with his planned visit to #Seahawks tomorrow, source said. Unlikely to reach agreement with another team beforehand
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2015
Last offseason, the Eagles put Mathis on the trading block, despite the fact that he was coming off a Pro Bowl season. They tried to find a team willing to work out a trade again during the 2015 NFL Draft, but the Eagles couldn't find any takers then, either. Mathis, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract in 2012, was seeking more money and decided to skip voluntary workouts this offseason before his release.
The Philadelphia Eagles released the guard in early June after a lengthy contract dispute.
Although Mathis didn't have as strong of a year in 2014, he still made the Pro Bowl despite missing much of the season with a sprained MCL. And when he returned to the lineup in Week 10, he looked like one of the best offensive linemen in the league.
Mathis' best seasons have come in an Eagles uniform. Pro Football Focus has graded him highly every year since he became a starter for the Eagles in 2011:
Evan Mathis was our top graded OG from 2011-13, and was 2nd last year in just 9 games. Best OG in the game now available. #OnYourMarks
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 11, 2015
Mathis, who will turn 34 in November, was a third-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2005. He started in all 56 games he played for the Eagles and was named an All-Pro in 2013.