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Dwork On Sports: The Time Has Come For Miami To Decide On Evan Mathis

Welcome to the Dwork On Sports blog.  This is a place where I'll cover all things related to South Florida sports, with a steady combination of facts and opinions while ultimately keeping a close eye on anything and everything related to our local teams.

Dwork On Sports

It's no secret that the Miami Dolphins offensive line, particularly the two guard spots, has been under the microscope since the team began training camp.

The two guys who have been penciled in as the starters are Billy Turner at right guard and Dallas Thomas at left guard.

Both players were drafted in the third round by the Dolphins in consecutive years. Thomas was taken 77th overall in 2013 while Turner was selected 67th overall in 2014.

They have each had their struggles when plugged into Miami's lineup over the past couple years and confidence wasn't particularly high in either of them heading into this season.

Judging them during team practices isn't an easy task considering how talented the Dolphins defensive line is with players like Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

The rest tests would come during the preseason where Thomas has held his own while Turner has struggled in both games.

What makes the situation even more interesting is the availability of a Pro Bowl caliber guard, Evan Mathis, on the open market.

Mathis was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this summer when the team didn't want to pay him the $5.5 million that he was due to make.  Mathis wasn't willing to take a pay cut.

The Dolphins aren't the only team in the NFL with needs on the offensive line but so far there has been little interest, at least publicly, by anyone in the 33-year-old Mathis. He'll turn 34 during the season.

Mathis' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has been seen at several Dolphins practices and even was overheard speaking with football executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum about the guard.

Rosenhaus said on Monday that Mathis will make "a decision on a team by the end of this week."

Many are speculating that the reason for the lack of interest in Mathis is due to his financial demands.  He wants to make money similar to the $5.5 million that Philadelphia was set to pay him.

Perhaps now that price has gone down.

The Dolphins are a team that many are picking to be an AFC playoff team in 2015.  The potential is there as this is the most talented roster of players head coach Joe Philbin has had under him since joining Miami in 2012.

Is the team willing to spend another several million on a player that would certainly make their offensive line, which has been a major issue with the team in recent years, much better?

That's the question that needs to be answered in the next few days.

Miami may very well be fine with Turner and Thomas at the two guard spots.  Or they may not.

Tannenbaum and general manager Dennis Hickey have to decide if the risk is worth taking in a year where the team has a real chance of being special.

Be sure to check out our FinsOn4 Live Dolphins Blog where we will be posting season-long coverage, updates, photos, video, commentary and more throughout the entire 2015 season.

Watch Miami take on the Atlanta Falcons this Saturday at 7 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station! 

Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)

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