EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Matthew Mulligan #82 of the New York Jets tries to dodge Rashean Mathis #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Cornerback Rashean Mathis is ahead of his recovery from his knee injury. Mathis tore his ACL in the Jags week 10 win over the Colts. He expected the injury to take up to nine months to fully heal, but he says he is ahead of that schedule. Mathis is set to become a free agent on March 13, but says he isn't ready to leave the team. Find out what he had to say after the jump.Mathis told Jaguars.com senior writer, John Oehser:
I'm not ready to let go of my guys yet – the locker room, the camaraderie we have. That is still a part of me. There will be a day where I wash my hands of it and say, ‘The Lord has allowed me to do great things,’ but that's not here.
On wanting to stay in Jacksonville:
That's what I want – and there is hope. Hopefully, I don't hit free agency. The people who work for me know that and my agency knows that – and they have always known that. I've never kept that a secret, but I understand the evaluation process that has to go on and the trust process with this injury that has to go on.
Mathis went on to say that if he's not 100% he won't play in Jacksonville, or for any other team. While he is ahead of schedule in the recovery process, he said he won't be fully healed for the start of free agency.
Recovering from such a severe injury, it's unclear on the Jaguars plans for him. There's no question that his absence from the secondary was a huge blow to the team. Even coming off of such a major injury, I still think he should remain a top priority for the team to resign. While the injury should drive down his price tag, Mathis didn't seem to mind. He told Oehser that he is financially secure whether he plays again or not.
With that being said, I think the Jaguars should seriously consider resigning him. Perhaps the team should still address the position through the draft as insurance. The debate on whether to resign him or not would be a non-issue if the price tag was greater, but in this current situation, it's almost like a 'Why not?' scenario.