At the time of publication, Ryan Mathews was a member of the Eagles, but he will likely be looking for a new team soon after Philadelphia signed LeGarrette Blount in May. We'll continue to monitor where Mathews ends up in 2017, but his Fantasy value is expected to be minimal. He's also coming off surgery for a herniated disc in his neck, and he turns 30 in October. As we know, injuries have been a problem for Mathews, and it's doubtful he will land a starting job this season, especially if he stays with the Eagles. In 2016, Mathews played played 13 games but still managed to finish as the No. 24 Fantasy running back in standard leagues with 155 carries for 661 yards (4.26 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns and 13 catches for 115 yards and one touchdown. The eight rushing touchdowns and nine total touchdowns were career highs, and this was the most carries and rushing yards he's had since 2013. We'll see what happens with Mathews heading into training camp, but he will likely only be worth a late-round flier in the majority of leagues.
The Eagles are still waiting for Mathews (neck) to be able to pass a physical before they release him, Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com reports. The Eagles don't want to release Mathews with a failed physical designation, which likely would require a significant injury settlement, given his $4 million base salary. Mathews also has some incentive to hurry things along, as he'll have a better chance of making an impact this season if he finds a new team before the start of training camp. The Eagles seem content to move forward with LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey in the backfield.
Mathews (neck) is still likely to be released, PhillyVoice.com's Jimmy Kempski reports. Mathews was cleared to resume working out around the time of the draft, and while he still hasn't passed a physical, the Eagles likely expect him to do so before the start of training camp. The team apparently intends to release him with an injury settlement even if he can't pass a physical, ready to move forward with a backfield led by Wendell Smallwood (knee), Darren Sproles and fourth-round rookie Donnel Pumphrey. Philadelphia could look to add some size to its backfield through free agency or a trade, as LeGarrette Blount remains unsigned and a few teams appear to have at least three or four competent runners.
Mathews (neck) has been cleared to work out, Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal reports. General manager Howie Roseman said as much following the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday. During the event, the Eagles expressed a pseudo vote of confidence in their existing running back corps, bringing in just Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round. Before he can begin fending off the likes of Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood (knee) in the offseason program, Mathews' primary hurdle remains his recovery from surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. Although Mathews is now able to work out, the extent of his activity is unknown upon the completion of Phase 1 of the program this past week.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman said last week that Mathews was doing well as he recovers from surgery on his herniated disk, Calkins Media reports. "Ryan is doing great and we full expect him to be ready to play," Roseman noted at the Combine. "He's under contract and it's as simple as that at this time." It has been speculated that Mathews will be released to bring the Eagles $4 million in cap relief, but Roseman would not comment on the situation since league rules prohibit cutting an injured player. The running back will be entering his age-30 season in 2017 and has always struggled with injuries and ball-control issues, but he should be healthy by the time next season begins and able to contribute wherever he ends up. Wendell Smallwood (knee) and Darren Sproles remain in the fold for the Eagles, but the club is likely to try and bring in additional help via free agency or the draft, if Mathews is in fact let go once he's healthy, according to Philly.com.
Mathews (back) rushed 155 times for 661 yards and eight touchdowns to go with 13 receptions (on 14 targets) for 115 yards and another score in 13 games played this season. Mathews was the Eagles' best offensive weapon for much of this season, accounting for a career-best nine touchdowns on the campaign. Although underwhelming overall, his 661 rushing yards marked his most since 2013, and Mathews averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry for the fourth straight season. While that made him a productive fantasy commodity when healthy, injuries once again damaged his stock, as Mathews not only missed two games due to a knee ailment, but also ended the season on IR after suffering a herniated disk during Week 16. That back problem will require the 29-year-old Mathews' progress to be tracked this offseason, when he'll transition into his final year under contract with the Eagles.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||@Kansas City Chiefs||17||17.59|
|3||09/24||New York Giants||7||14.88|
|4||10/01||@Los Angeles Chargers||27||19.88|
|8||10/29||San Francisco 49ers||33||27.13|
|14||12/10||@Los Angeles Rams||14||16.63|
|15||12/17||@New York Giants||7||14.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||112||510||6||14||110||1||106|