Nov 16, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals receiver
(15) is defended by Detroit Lions cornerback
(31) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Rashean Mathis for what he has been able to contribute to the Lions since they essentially grabbed him off the NFL scrap heap but the time has come to let the youth movement take over.
Mathis has battled injuries this year but his performance has slipped even still. At 35-years old, the only surprising thing about that is that it didn’t happen sooner. The Lions got more than they should have expected out of Mathis when they signed him in 2013 but they are now on borrowed time.
An ideal scenario would have seen Mathis serve as a stop-gap with a younger player ready to step in as the other starting corner opposite Darius Slay but that hasn’t really happened. Perhaps Alex Carter can show something to instill some confidence in the final games of the season as he finally sees action after starting the season on injured reserve, but even then it will be hard to count on him as a number two corner.
That’s a separate issue that doesn’t have anything to do with Mathis, whose time is up in Detroit. He signed a two-year deal prior to this season so he is under contract for 2016, but with a new front office taking over it is better to reclaim $1.5 million in cap space as a reshaping of the roster takes place.
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