The Eagles released Mathis on Thursday amid a contract dispute. Mathis had not reported to Philadelphia's organized team activities and was seeking a new contract. He had two years and $13.5 million left on his deal.
Herremans called the release “unfortunate for Evan,“ but added that Mathis “kind of brought it on himself though by not showing up.”
“I know that Evan wasn't happy about his contract,” said Herremans. “I know he also wanted to win. He's a monster in the gym. I know he was working out in the gym and keeping himself in shape. I know that wasn't an issue. It was more of the team bonding, camaraderie and needing him there ... What's going to make you think that if someone's not coming to all of the voluntary stuff? That doesn't give you a real good feeling that they're going to show up to the mandatory stuff.”
Herremans was released by Philadelphia in February after 10 seasons with the team. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts in March.
On Tuesday, Pro Football Talk reported that the Eagles offered Mathis a $1 million raise before last season but he did not accept. He did want to accept the offer this off-season but was told it was no longer on the table because Chip Kelly had been made the head of player personnel, replacing Howie Roseman, who made the offer to Mathis.
"I think it's very unfortunate how it all went down,” said Herremans. “It's tough to not draft any offensive lineman and get rid of both of your starting guards in one offseason. But Chip's got a plan. Nobody really knows what it is, but he has a plan and he's putting it into action."
The Eagles finished 10–6 last season, missing the playoffs.
- Molly Geary