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Bills interested in Evan Mathis; is Mathis interested in Buffalo?

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For the second time this offseason, the Buffalo Bills are being mentioned as potential suitors for two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, who was released by Philadelphia on Thursday.

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The Philadelphia Eagles released veteran guard Evan Mathis on Thursday, and the Buffalo Bills are among the teams reportedly showing interest in the free agent.

Mathis, 34, has long been on the outs with Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Back in March, when the free agent signing period was just starting, Mathis' name emerged in trade rumors - and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports mentioned that the Bills were one of several teams "sniffing around" Mathis at that time.

Now that Mathis is free to sign with any team, WGR 550's Sal Capaccio (link) and Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News (link) are reporting that the Bills are again sniffing around the two-time Pro Bowl guard - but with a caveat.

The Bills, evidently, are currently in the process of gauging what Mathis is thinking, rather than simply pursuing an available asset. Capaccio writes that the Bills "want to know what his expectations are before determining their own level of interest" - which likely just means that the cap-strapped team isn't going to engage in negotiations with a player whose salary demands far exceed what Buffalo can provide.

Mathis was released by a team that was going to pay him $5.5 million in base salary, for the record. He wanted more. If he still wants more, he's not going to receive it from the Bills - but if he's up for settling for a bit less, while playing for a popular coach and blocking for his former Eagles teammate, LeSean McCoy, then maybe things will be able to escalate beyond the sniffing stage.

In the meantime, it's also good business for the Bills to be in on the Mathis conversation at any level. Richie Incognito and rookie John Miller, the projected starters at guard as of today, have both received strong praise from Rex Ryan this spring, but even the idea of adding a 2013 All-Pro selection to the roster in June will go over well with the fan base.