Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday that Drew Rosenhaus, agent for guard Evan Mathis, asked for Mathis' release "on multiple occasions" before the team cut the two-time Pro Bowl left guard last Thursday.
Asked about this, Mathis said any release request would have occurred "no time recently'' -- meaning he might have welcomed being released when free agency was in full swing, when teams had cap room and hadn't drafted yet, but he wasn't really looking to be released in June.
"If he was so willing to oblige my release, why didn't he sign or draft any OL?" Mathis asked, via text.
Kelly also said QB Sam Bradford will continue to throw only 7-on-7 in this week's mandatory minicamp, the last activity before training camp. Asked if Bradford will be ready to go 11-on-11 when camp convenes Aug. 2, Kelly said: "God we hope so." And Bradford later said if he isn't ready for 11-on-11 by camp, something will have gone "terribly wrong" in his recovery from back-to-back left ACL tears.
On Mathis, who has been unhappy with his contract the past two offseasons, Kelly was asked why the Eagles didn't just demand that Mathis honor the contract he signed in 2012, which would have paid him $5.5 million this season and $6 million next season. "It wasn't addressed to us that that was going to happen," Kelly said. Asked if he thought Mathis would have reported for training camp, Kelly said, 'I don't know."
"He could have asked," Mathis texted, when those comments were relayed to him. Mathis later said he would have reported and honored his contract.
"They obviously wanted a new contract, we weren't going to give them a new contract, they asked for release," Kelly said.
Rosenhaus said he will no longer comment on anything involving Mathis and the Eagles.
Without Mathis, "we obviously are down a good football player," Kelly said. But he called Mathis' scheduled replacement, Allen Barbre, "outstanding." He said Matt Tobin will compete at right guard -- where Todd Herremans was released earlier -- with Andrew Gardner, Dennis Kelly and Kevin Graf. Kelly said Tobin, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013, needs to be more consistent.
"I'm not going to keep anybody here who doesn't want to be here," Kelly said. He said he waited as long as possible, hoping to trade Mathis, who turns 34 in November.