Mathews, a hard-charging runner with an extensive injury history, had landed on injured reserve the week of the season finale against Dallas. He’d suffered a neck injury Dec. 23 against the Giants that capped a frustrating, erratic season for the Eagles’ leading rusher.
But Mathews had a year remaining on his contract. Releasing him while injured would cost the team more than $1.1 million, the money coming directly off the Eagles’ meager cap space. So the decision was to wait for Mathews to pass a physical, at which point he could be released. He’ll still count $1 million in dead cap money this year, but the Eagles won’t be paying him, the only thing affected will the cap space. If and when he passes the physical.
Mathews is scheduled to make $4 million this season, and to count $5 million toward the cap, the story said. Given the signing of LeGarrette Blount and the drafting of Donnel Pumphrey, there is virtually no chance the team will keep Mathews around, when he is declared healthy, the story went on to say.