Lions’ Mathis: ‘If I’m not here, then I’m nowhere’

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Rashean Mathis spent 10 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars before playing for the Lions the past three years.

And as he prepares to mull his future, Mathis said he has no interest in adding a third team to his career.

“If I’m not here, then I’m nowhere,” Mathis said of his future in Detroit.

The Lions signed Mathis, 35, to a two-year deal last March. He started the first seven games of the year before a concussion that lingered for weeks forced him onto the injured-reserve list.

Although Mathis thought he could’ve played better, he thought he performed “fine,” and his play in 2015 won’t be a determining factor as he considers his options next year.

For Mathis, the future could play out a few ways. He could be back in 2016 on a deal with a cap hit of nearly $1.9 million. The new general manager could cut him along with other players who don’t fit in the future plans. He could also retire, but Mathis said he hasn’t put a timetable on when he plans to make a decision.

“From a health standpoint, I’m fine, so that’s not an issue,” Mathis said. “But there’s a lot of uncertainty with the organization as a whole, so I’m sure that will decide a lot of guys’ futures.”

One person’s future that remains unknown is coach Jim Caldwell, and Mathis said Caldwell being with the team could impact his decision, though he didn’t rule out the possibility of playing for a different Lions coach depending on who might replace Caldwell.

“Caldwell, definitely that could be a deciding factor if I decide if I want to play again or not,” Mathis said.