Buffalo Bills Interested in Jahri Evans, Evan Mathis


Buffalo Bills Interested in Jahri Evans, Evan Mathis

With the recent acquisitions of Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy, the Buffalo Bills offence has upgraded their skill positions immensely. However, aside from the signing of Richie Icognito, the Bills are yet to address their issues along the offensive line.

Nov 10, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis (69) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Philadelphia won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Graded as a one of the worst offensive lines in football last season, the unit remains largely intact. With a shift in philosophy to attack teams with a “ground-and-pound” approach, the Bills must improve their offensive line play from last season.

Recent reports suggest that they are looking to do just that, as the Bills have been linked to a pair of Pro Bowl guards in Philadelphia Eagles Evan Mathis, and New Orleans Saints Jahri Evans.

Both players are under contract with their respective teams for next season, but are also said to be available.

In the case of Evans, the Saints’ salary cap issues make him a likely trade candidate. Or, with a cap hit of $11 million next season, the team might opt to cut him loose to relieve some much needed cap space.

Although there are numerous options for the Saints — like converting his roster bonuses into signing bonuses — it appears something will have to give with Evans’ cap number very soon.

With minimal wiggle room financially to make a trade, the Bills will probably be one of the many teams waiting for the Saints decision on Evans’ future. In the event that they do release him, expect the Bills to make a play for the 31-year-old Pro Bowler.

In Philadelphia, the headline darlings of free agency continue to be busy with the team reportedly shopping two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, and Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reported the news on Thursday.

Since then, the Miami Dolphins have been the team most frequently connected to Mathis. But Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports that three more teams, including the Bills, are interested in Mathis.

Set to turn 34 this November, Mathis is a two-time Pro Bowler who has consistently ranked among the best offensive linemen in the league. But at 34 years old, there are growing question marks with him.

For starters, a knee injury cost him seven games last season. He did return later in the year, but at 34 years old, the knee injury will surely be a concern. Parlay that with his handsome cap hits of $6.5 million in 2015 (only $4.5 million if he is traded to another team) and $7 million in 2016, and you can quickly see why there are question marks surrounding the All Pro guard.

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In all likelihood, the Bills will probably wait and see what happens with Jahri Evans in New Orleans before making an offer to Philadelphia. Especially since Chip Kelly is said to be upset that the Bills leaked the LeSean McCoy trade early. Given that, I doubt the Eagles would be receptive to anything less than a substantial offer from Buffalo.

While the Bills’ top priority is clearly free agent tight end Charles Clay, we can add the future of Jahri Evans to the team’s watch list, as he could provide an immediate upgrade to the offensive line.

Next: Is Percy Harvin Worth the Risk?