In 2008, the Bengals signed an offensive guard from the Miami Dolphins named Evan Mathis. Originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2005 out of Alabama, Mathis was the victim of a coaching staff change, and cut before the 2008 season. He came to Cincinnati mid-season and didn’t play much until 2009, when he took over for an injured Nate Livings, and played well til sidelined with an injury. In 2010, the Bengals, once again, used him in a backup role, and after the season, he left via free agency.
He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, and worked hard to earn the starting job there. Once he had the position, he ran with it. Often lead blocking for LeSean McCoy, he was praised for his performance, helping McCoy rack up over 1,600 total yards and an Eagles record 20 total TDs. Almost unanimously, he was considered one of the top guards in the NFL, and profootballfocus.com rated him as 2011’s best left guard. After the season, he was a free agent once again, but the Eagles, recognizing him for what he is, re-signed him to a five year contract worth $25 million. The question for Bengals fans is now, what happened?