Ryan O\’Halloran, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat writer for the Florida Times-Union, reported Tuesday evening on Twitter that cornerback Rashean Mathis was told by the team today that he would not be offered a new contract for next season.
Mathis, who played 10 season in Jacksonville after being drafted by the Jaguars in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft, had his best games with the Jaguars against the Steelers.
In 2005, Mathis intercepted then-Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox in overtime of the Week 7 game and returned it for a game-winning touchdown. If that wasn\’t enough, he also partially blocked a punt in that game.
In Week 2 of the 2006 season game against the Steelers, Mathis picked off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger twice and wound up being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
In 2007 Mathis intercepted Roethlisberger twice more in the Jaguars 31-29 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh during the AFC Wildcard Game. One of those two interceptions he returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
In Week 5 of the 2008 season Mathis took his only interception of Roethlisberger in the game 72 yards the other way for yet another touchdown.
Mathis would face the Steelers once again in Week 6 of the 2011 season, but thankfully he wasn\’t able to record an interception in the Steelers 17-13 come-from-ahead win.
To summarize, in the five games that he played against the Steelers, Mathis recorded 6 interceptions and returned 3 of them for touchdowns. He also averaged just over 36 yards a return on those 6 interceptions in addition.
To put this in perspective, Mathis recorded 30 regular season interceptions and 2 post season interceptions during his career in Jacksonville.
Mathis, 32, doesn\’t seem like he is ready to retire just yet. We will have to wait and see if he gets an opportunity to play next season with another team. If he does, hopefully that team isn\’t on the Steelers schedule next season. I bet Roethlisberger is hoping for that as well.
Today Steeler Nation tips its cap to the Roethlisberger kryptonite for his long career in Jacksonville.