The Eagles‘ release of guard Evan Mathis last week led to a stir as Philly opened mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.

Following Chip Kelly’s statement that Mathis requested his release multiple times, players addressed the removal of the veteran.


Their responses overwhelmingly underscored one main point: It’s about the culture.

“(The coaches) had to make decision whether they wanted to keep a guy or further emphasize the culture,” center Jason Kelce said, via the Philly Daily News’ Zach Berman. “To Evan’s credit…he hasn’t made this at all a distraction to the team, he hasn’t ever been a bad teammate.

“The precedent has already been set. … It’s all about culture. It’s all about team. Precedent has been set long before this.”

Eagles players echoed Kelly’s long-held belief that “culture will beat scheme every day.”

“If you don’t want to be on the team, then by all means go somewhere else,” safety Malcolm Jenkins added. “I’m not judging Evan. I see it from both sides. If you feel like you’re a due that money, you’re a grown man making a grown man decision.”

Mathis wanted an upgrade on the $5.5 million he was due to play for this season and stayed away from voluntary OTAs. He has told reporters since being cut he had planned to attend this week’s minicamp.

“I think Evan got a little bit carried away, and I think it got the best of him,” offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. “But I can understand where he’s coming from.”

The Eagles are moving forward with their culture and Allen Barbre at the guard spot. Where Mathis eventually lands remains a story to track.

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