MINNEAPOLIS -- The Philadelphia Eagles ended their standoff with guard Evan Mathis on Thursday, releasing him after the 33-year-old had skipped organized team activities because he was unhappy with his contract. And of the places where Mathis could wind up next, the Minnesota Vikings might be a good fit.
Two of the coaches who would work with Mathis the most -- offensive line coach Jeff Davidson and head coach Mike Zimmer -- are already familiar with him. Davidson's first year as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator (2007) was Mathis' final season with the Panthers. Then, Mathis spent 2008-10 in Cincinnati for Zimmer's first three seasons as the defensive coordinator there.
The Vikings have more than $10 million in cap space left for 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, and they've got an opening at guard. They've been working Brandon Fusco on the left side and trying rookies T.J. Clemmings and Tyrus Thompson in Fusco's old right guard spot. Signing Mathis would allow the Vikings to move Fusco back to the right side and put one of the game's best left guards next to Matt Kalil.
There are some obvious caveats here: It's June, Mathis is coming off a sprained MCL and it remains to be seen what kind of contract demands he'd have after seeking an upgrade to his $5.5 million salary in Philadelphia. But when the Vikings obviously have room to upgrade on the offensive line, the cap space to make something happen and plenty of background knowledge on Mathis, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see them at least consider bringing him in.