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Kelly: OG Mathis requested Eagles’ release multiple times

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Offensive guard Evan Mathis said Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly called him Friday to tell the 33-year-old he was being released to see if he could get what he wants.

Kelly said Tuesday as the Eagles began minicamp with an open competition at one of the guard spots on the offensive line that the team held onto Mathis as long as possible hoping to trade him.

“We were asked by his agent for a release on multiple occasions, so we weren’t going to come to a conclusion in terms of a contract extension,” Kelly said. “We weren’t going to extend any contract or adjust any contract, so we granted him what his agent asked for.”

Mathis said he has never asked to be released, despite Kelly’s assertion that the Eagles heard the request multiple times.

“I mean, we went … they obviously wanted a new contract and we weren’t going to give them a new contract. They asked for the release, so we released him,” Kelly said Tuesday.

Mathis had been absent from organized team activities as he sought an upgrade to his five-year, $25 million contract he signed in 2012. He was due to make $5.5 million this year and $6 million in 2016.

Mathis had permission last year and again this offseason to seek a trade, but Kelly found no takers. It was clear to the Eagles that demand for his services was not great.

“We felt that if he didn’t want to be here, I wanted Evan to get everything he could get, and I hope it works out for him,” Kelly said. “He was great for us in the two years we had him. I like Evan a lot and if he wants to get released to see if he can get better, then we released him.”


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