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Cardinals Agree To Deal With Evan Mathis

Posted Mar 16, 2016

One-year contract with former Pro Bowl guard helps solidify offensive line

The Cardinals agreed to a one-year contract with guard Evan Mathis.

The day after Jonathan Cooper was traded, the Cardinals found a veteran to take his place at right guard.

The team agreed to a one-year contract with Evan Mathis Wednesday. Mathis, 34, enters his 13th season having started 90 of 130 NFL games, including 68 of the 72 games he’s played in since 2011. He spent last season as the starting left guard for the Super Bowl champion Broncos.

General Manager Steve Keim confirmed that Mathis will be the starting right guard.

“He’s a guy you watch on tape and it reminded me when we looked at Carson Palmer,” Keim said. “You get excited about the player, particularly at that age. He’s one of those guys, I don’t know if they put him in wax or what it is, he takes tremendous care of his body. He’s got great feet, great athleticism, does a nice job playing on the second level and he brings a physical mentality, like (guard) Mike Iupati did.”

Mathis also owns a gym in the Phoenix area and has lived in the Valley for 11 years.

Keim said the trade of Cooper – to New England for pass rusher Chandler Jones -- was more about the ability to get Jones than the need to move Cooper.

It sets the right side of the line. The right tackle will be 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries – “D.J. has made huge strides for us,” Keim said. “I’ve said many times it’s on D.J. now.”

Iupati and tackle Jared Veldheer are set on the left side. Center right now is A.Q. Shipley, although that could change. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cardinals draft a center.

“That was one of things we talked about in having Mathis beside a guy like D.J.,” Keim said. “You have a guy who is young and inexperienced, but you have next to him a 34-year-old guard who has a wealth of knowledge and understands the game. One of his best attributes has been his intelligence and football smarts.

“Having another player like that can pay huge dividends. And you may be able to find a rookie center who can come in and compete, or maybe someone else in free agency.”

Keim said he wasn’t sure how active the Cardinals will continue to be in free agency, although the Cards have made it a habit of continually finding pieces all the way through training camp – at the right price.

"I think you let things settle and you let it come to you," Keim said. 

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