NFL Free Agency: Philadelphia Eagles Sign Evan Mathis to a 5-Year-Deal

Cian Fahey@CianafFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 11:  Evan Mathis #69 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the Baltimore Ravens during their pre season game on August 11, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles have re-signed highly sought after guard Evan Mathis to a five-year contract.

After Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs, Mathis was one of the highest rated free-agent guards and offensive linemen this offseason.

The Eagles will view this signing as a major coup for the team who had offensive line struggles last year. Any struggles on the line didn't come from Mathis, however, as his level of play was astonishingly high for the Eagles.

Mathis started 15 games for the eagles after being somewhat of a journeyman through the first six years of his career. The 30-year-old previously started 15 games for the Carolina Panthers in his second season, while starting seven for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Eagles are Mathis' fourth team during his career. He was originally drafted out of Alabama in the third round of the 2005 draft by the Panthers. After three years with the Panthers, he found his way onto the Miami Dolphins roster for a few months before landing with the Bengals for another couple of years.

After the Eagles picked him up last year, however, they are now making sure no other suitors will take him away for at least the next few years.

Mathis had previously visited with the Baltimore Ravens and was viewed as one of the most prized free agents remaining on the market. After leaving Baltimore without a contract, however, Mathis delighted Eagles fans by agreeing to return to Philadelphia...

To all the Eagles fans who offered me various food and incentives to return... I've come to collect.

...after previously teasing his followers with this picture.

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