The San Francisco 49ers currently have a full 90-man roster, but they could be looking at one notable change. John Clayton is reporting the 49ers are one of the "four main teams looking at" ex-Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis. Along with the 49ers are the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Hat tip to user Missing Link for finding this article.
The Eagles released Mathis late last week, choosing to part ways rather than re-do his contract. Mathis was looking for a pay raise, but the Eagles decided to simply cut ties and move on. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told a radio station that "at least half a dozen" teams had already made contact about Mathis.
The 49ers have a lot of questions on the offensive line, with Mike Iupati gone in free agency, and Anthony Davis retiring (or taking a hiatus or whatever). They currently have a shade over $10 million in cap space. They have to hold close to have of that for Aldon Smith's roster bonuses, but that cap space will not come due until midway through the season. If the 49ers were inclined to sign Mathis, they could make a deal work with the cap space in hand.
The bigger question of course is whether they actually would do it. I don't doubt that they have been floated by somebody. Drew Rosenhaus has done a lot of work with the 49ers over the years. They have what seems to be a pretty solid working relationship. The 49ers could very well be kicking the tires on Mathis, or maybe they're happy to let that info float out there and do Rosenhaus a solid. We won't know anything for certain if the 49ers do not sign Mathis, but nothing would surprise me.
Clayton suggested Mathis might only be looking at a two year deal. The 49ers have not been a team that spends a lot of money on veteran interior linemen. However, they have been willing to add slightly cheaper veterans, with Jonathan Goodwin being the most recent example. A short-term deal might not be the worst idea in the world. If Brandon Thomas can claim one guard position, they potentially could move Alex Boone to right tackle, and insert Mathis at the other guard position. I am skeptical it happens, but it would not be all that crazy on a shorter deal.