Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Uppity Need Not Apply: The Eagles Release Evan Mathis

Nero Fiddles, Talent Burns
So Evan Mathis was released from his contract today, continuing the trend of Uppity Talent Need Not Apply to work for Chip "Nero" Kelly. (Mathis dared to not show for the most cynical words in the NFL lexicon: "voluntary" off season workouts. He's also been publicly unhappy about being underpaid for being great for a long time. In other words, someone that just had to go, especially since Chip Didn't Draft Him, and anyone Chip Didn't Draft Has The Wrong Culture. Oh, also the guys that Chip acquired and already ran off, like Cary Williams. Anyway.)

The club will now throw journeyman Allen Barbre into the breach, at least until he gets hurt, which is often. In case you are counting, we're now at over half of the projected offensive starters as injury risks. (Quick, mix up some more Magic Smoothies!)

Mathis will go to some NFC East team and provide them excellent service, because that's what ex-Eagles who can still play do. It's a very giving franchise, this.

After a week of frothing, Philly Fan will eventually turn on Mathis for being Uppity, and not Kelly, because rooting for the laundry is rooting for the laundry. And it's not as if there's another football town in town to root for, or even the ability to distract yourself from the upcoming trainwreck with competitive baseball. The fact that it's increasingly apparent that Nero doesn't know how to manage any personnel that doesn't provide daily prostate checks with their noses... well, it doesn't change any of that. You have one team, they play one season, rooting for them to lose to get rid of Nero sooner is still rooting for them to lose, and unless Kelly gets run off after one disaster year, that just means the high pick will still be his to spend on Best Available Guy From Oregon Who's Real Nice To His Mama And Polite To Coach.

On the off chance you think this is a youth movement because Mathis is 33, well, Barbre is 31, and there is no one with a semblance of a functioning brain that thinks the Eagle offensive line is better today than it was yesterday. It's also telling, of course, that Kelly took an All-Pro asset and got Absolutely Nothing for it, the same way he got Absolutely Nothing for DeSean Jackson, and to a lesser but still fair extent, Jeremy Maclin, Chris Polk, Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Herremans. All of these guys are now employed with other teams, by the way, which is a bit of a tell on how the rest of the NFL regards Kelly's personnel decisions.

Oh, there's also this. The offensive line was aging and thin before it got torched in this off-season, with Mathis and Herremans both getting the boot. Nero drafted no linemen, preferring instead to fix the tire fire secondary (with guys who got employed elsewhere for big money the second they were cut, which kind of speaks to the coaching, just a wee bit) with redundant versatile speedy dwarves for the secondary. Maybe mix in an OL, considering you didn't take one last year either, and Mathis didn't suddenly develop a backbone in the last month?

Anyway, back to the OL. There is no one in the free agent market, or available in trade from the Eagles' dwindling supply of Uppity Talent (Want LB Mychal Kendricks? Send Nero a 7th round pick, or wait a week for him to be released when he gives Nero some side eye). Oh, and overpriced QB Brittle Bones Bradford might not make the opener due to the fact that, well, He's Brittle Bones Bradford. And when he does get the snap, he'll be nicely trashed by being behind a thin, aging, and second-rate and falling offensive line. But with Magic Smoothies! And Genius Offensive Schemes that have never gotten the team a win against a quality defense!

Mathis will now, if he's got any ordinary humanity to him at all, grouse to a journalist about how Nero is, well, Nero. It might stick more because Mathis is white and uppity, but uppity people who have made seven figures and/or play sports for a living never popular plays in this town, even when they are right.

And now that the death march to a double-digit loss year in a run of the mill division is in full effect, with the team rapidly joining the cadre of local teams (i.e., all except the Sixers) who have absolutely no idea what they are doing, and yet still more or less fill their arenas.

But Philly Fan shouldn't be angry. And when Kelly resigns before being fired in 2 years (over under 1.5), it will be because they just were not patient enough, or he just wasn't lucky enough to avoid Brittle Bones Bradford's injury. Tragic, really. Which just leaves me with one question.

Is there any way on God's green earth to get Kelly to a poker table, preferably mine? My kids' college fund needs some of his innovative ideas toward talent evaluation...

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