Mathis came to the Denver Broncos in August of 2015, right before the start of the regular season. Denver's plan was to start him at left guard.
However, Mathis got off to a slow start and battled injuries through most of the season. He rotated with rookie Max Garcia frequently, especially down the stretch and into the playoffs.
A former All-Pro, the only thing missing from Mathis' NFL resume was a World Championship. His time in Denver remedied that.
This isn't a huge loss for Denver. Mathis is 34 years old and his 2015 campaign made it plain that his best years are behind him.
The Broncos are high on Garcia. But after releasing right guard Louis Vasquez, they're currently thin at guard.
If the Broncos and Ryan Clady are able to agree on a contract restructuring, that would leave four tackles on the roster — Clady, Michael Schofield, Ty Sambrailo and resent free agent signing Donald Stephenson.
It's conceivable that one of these guys could be asked to kick inside. If that happens, Sambrailo is the most likely candidate.
With all the losses the Broncos have sustained via free agency this year, and the premium contracts being signed by the likes of Malik Jackson and Brock Osweiler, Denver can expect to be awarded a grip of compensatory draft picks in 2017.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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