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Evan Mathis signs 1-year, $6 million deal with Cardinals

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Mathis replaces Jonathan Cooper, who was traded to the Patriots.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent offensive lineman Evan Mathis has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. His deal is for just one year and will pay him $6 million, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. Mathis is 34 years old and is only a season removed from being released by the Philadelphia Eagles due to a high contract number and injury concerns.

But Mathis proved the doubters wrong when he joined the Denver Broncos this past offseason and played in all 16 games for the team, starting 12 of them. Mathis will turn 35 during the 2016 season, but he showed enough with the Broncos to earn another deal before he calls it a career.

Not that Mathis has much left to prove at this stage of his career. Mathis was named to the Pro Bowl twice, was a first-team All-Pro player in 2013 and now has a Super Bowl ring, protecting both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler through the playoffs and the big game against the Carolina Panthers.

Still, Mathis knows what he likes:

Mathis was a third-round pick by the Panthers in 2005 and has also played for the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. He has started 90 of his 130 NFL games.

The Cardinals traded guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for defensive end Chandler Jones. The move made considerably more sense when Ian Rapoport announced the team had met with Mathis earlier Tuesday and offered him a two-year deal.

Cooper has been sidelined on and off with injuries since he joined the league in 2013; with Mathis at guard, the team should get consistency and a confidence that Cooper lacked.