Getting to Know One of the NFL's Lesser Known, More Intricate Free Agency Rules

Getting to Know One of the NFL's Lesser Known, More Intricate Free Agency Rules

For the most part, everybody is an Evan Mathis fan these days. He's very engaging, and coming off a career year seldom hurts one's popularity.

He's also a free agent, and somebody the Eagles would like to have back next season. For his part, Mathis expressed a desire to return as well, so we were fairly confident the two sides would work something out, perhaps even before free agency opened.

As it turns out, that last part... can't happen.

Responding to a story about Dallas Cowboys free agent wide receiver Laurent Robinson, Adam Caplan Tweeted on Thursday that NFL rules prevent Mathis from signing a contract before free agency begins on March 13.

Like Robinson, Mathis signed something called a "minimum salary benefit" contract last summer. The deal pays the player the league minimum, but the entire salary does not count against the salary cap. In Robinson's case, the Cowboys saved a little more than $200,000 by doing this.

The downside, of course, is the Eagles can't lock in Mathis before another club has a chance to make  an offer, which could drive up the price. Technically, they can still negotiate with him in advance of March 13, but ESPN's Todd Archer, who broke the initial story on Robinson, indicated such a move could hurt their bargaining position.

"The conversation with him goes more like, 'What are you thinking and then we’ll think about it,'" [Cowboys] executive vice president Stephen Jones said.

Caplan also confirmed defensive tackle Derek Landri is in the same boat.

The silver lining is Mathis wants to play here, so it's not time to panic quite yet. However, if another GM agrees he looked like one of the best left guards in football this season, that team might make an offer the Eagles won't match -- and Mathis can't refuse.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Eagles Injury Update: Hicks, Kendricks should be OK; Darby questionable


Eagles Injury Update: Hicks, Kendricks should be OK; Darby questionable

It's still unclear whether or not the Eagles will have Ronald Darby for Monday night's game, but at least they'll have their linebackers. 

Both Jordan Hicks (calf) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) will be OK to play against Washington on Monday night, head coach Doug Pederson said. 

"Both of them will practice today," Pederson said on Saturday morning. "They're both doing well. Just to get a couple extra days of rest. And Mychal has actually practiced all week. Jordan's been the one we've kept out. Both of them will go today and we'll get a better understanding of where they're at but they'll be fine for the game."

Hicks, Kendricks and Darby were the only three Eagles who were limited in Friday's practice. 

Darby (ankle) will be listed as questionable for the game, but earlier in the week Pederson said "stars have to align" for the cornerback to play this week. The 49ers game on Oct. 29 is probably more likely. 

Darby, who dislocated his right ankle in Week 1, returned to practice for the first time this week. 

"[Darby has] looked well. It's just day by day with him," Pederson said. "We'll get through today's practice with him. Obviously, have limited his reps during practice. He is doing well and we'll get through today and tomorrow to make a decision for [the game]."

The Eagles will practice on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and the injury report will come out later in the afternoon.