Ryan Mathews has been released by the Philadelphia Eagles after two seasons with the NFC East team. On Tuesday, the team released the running back after he spent all of the offseason recovery from surgery on his neck and missing the start of training camp. After Mathews passed his physical, the Eagles released him.
A statement released by the Eagles said the team wanted to thank Ryan for the contributions he made while with the team over the last two seasons. The statement added that the team had spoken with Mathews in a productive conversation related to the player’s future and the team’s direction moving forward.
The statement continued by saying the team was happy Ryan was healthy and has been given clearance to return to playing football, but given the state at this of the running back position in camp, the team decided the time was right for both organization and player to move in different directions.
Philadelphia currently has LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey a rookie on its depth chart.
Mathews entered the NFL as a pick in the first round back in 2010 by the San Diego Chargers. He was said at the time to be the heir apparent to LaDainian Tomlinson the newly inducted Hall of Famer, but Mathews could not remain healthy and did not ever live up to the lofty expectations of him after being drafted by the Chargers.
In 2015, Mathews left the Chargers and signed an $11 million 3-year deal with Philadelphia. Then Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was planning to make Mathews the key part in a 1-2 running back punch with Darren Sproles.
In that role, Mathews was quite productive with a per carry average of 5.1 yards and seven touchdowns on just 126 touches. However, he still was plagued by injuries and missed 3 games.
In 2016, with Kelly gone and Doug Pederson at the helm, Mathews played an even bigger role and established a career high in touchdowns with nine.
Mathews’ season was ended early after suffering a severe injury to his neck. He missed the majority of the team’s program during the offseason while recovering from his surgery, while Philadelphia at the same time signed Blount to take his place.
Mathews could still have gas in his tank to offer a team, but in October he will turn 30 and has a long history of injuries to be concerned about.