When Evan Mathis was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles months ago, the first team to show interest in signing him was the Miami Dolphins.
That and the fact Mathis is the nephew of former Dolphins Pro Bowl nose tackle Bob Baumhower, who has lobbied the team (lightly) to sign his kin, the fact people close to owner Stephen Ross have advocated signing Mathis, and the fact Mathis is a more than solid player at a position the Dolphins have uncertainty has led to speculation that, you know, Mathis is bound for Miami.
But as of early this afternoon, Mathis is not headed for Miami. He is indeed unsure where he's going to play in 2015.
Well, this is the NFL. And the NFL is often driven by two factors: Money. And deadlines or desperation.
And the Mathis camp and Dolphins are far apart on the money issue while neither side feels any significant desperation or feels close to any looming deadline to do a deal.
When the Dolphins initially called Mathis (actually his agent Drew Rosenhaus) sources tell me the two spoke of parameters of where they would like to be in getting a deal signed.
The Dolphins were willing to do a deal similar to what they did a year ago with guard Daryn Colledge and center Samson Satele. In other words, the Dolphins are willing to pay an older stopgap player around $2-$3 million per season in a deal that doesn't tie them up for a second season although it might be a two-year deal.
Mathis, who was scheduled to earn $5.5 million from the Eagles in 2015, wants a deal that at least makes him back that money he was expecting. He wants to feel whole again.
And as the Dolphins are comfortable -- for now -- with the work rookie Jamil Douglas and third-year player Dallas Thomas have done in camp, they're not likely to move significantly right away. It would require one or both those players fading in camp or performing poorly in the preseason for the Dolphins to rethink their stance.
Mathis, meanwhile, is playing a waiting game. If any of 32 teams suffers a significant injury at guard or the performance of the guards teams have in camp collapse, then he becomes a likely signing closer to his desired contract number.
And while Mathis might give the Dolphins the courtesy of having them match whatever good deal he can get elsewhere, he is not waiting on Miami. Obviously, the Dolphins are holding Mathis off, knowing all this.
So that's where things are. A wide gulf exists. There are no exigent circumstances for either party to force one or the other to cave and do this now.
Give it time.