On Tuesday afternoon the San Diego Chargers came to terms on a two-year extension with running back Danny Woodhead. This event comes months after they signed free-agent Donald Brown from the Indianapolis Colts. With both of these players now signed through the 2016 season, does that mean that star Ryan Mathews’ days with the organization are numbered?
According to Eric Williams, the Chargers’ writer for ESPN, it very well could.
With Mathews in the final year of his rookie deal, and the fact that he could become expensive after this season with how well he’s produced thus far, Chargers fans might not want to get used to him sticking around much longer.
With Woodhead and Brown have signed through 2016, Ryan Mathews could be playing his final season in San Diego. The Fresno State product is in the final year of a rookie contract that will pay him $1.98 million in 2014.
Mathews rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards and six touchdowns last season, playing a full 16-game season for the first time in his four-year career. The Chargers have said that Mathews will remain the team’s every-down running back for the upcoming season. Brown will serve as a complementary back to Mathews and Woodhead.
And of course, the injuries are a concern as well. Even should he have another outstanding year this season, like Williams pointed out, 2013 was the first full season that he was healthy and played a full schedule.
So in the end, the team could certainly, one way or another, justify not paying him a hefty salary once the season is over.