Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters value cannot be understated

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Sure, he may be 37-years-old, but re-signing Jason Peters may have been the Philadelphia Eagles’ best free agent move of the day.

Jason Peters is old.

After failing to hear his name called in the 2004 NFL Draft, Peters has played 14 seasons in the NFL, five in Buffalo, and 10 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Over that tenure, the player affectionately nicknames ‘The Body Guard’ has appeared in 197 games (182 starts), 192 in the regular season and (somehow only) five in the postseason.

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Peters is a nine-time Pro-Bowler who’s earned All-Pro status twice, in 2011 and 2013, and following a Super Bowl victory in 2017 looks like a borderline Hall of Famer.

And on the first day of the NFL’s ‘legal tampering window,’ Howie Roseman made what will likely go down as his best move of free agency by re-signing Peters to a one-year extension.

Now granted, one could argue that paying a 37-year-old left tackle $10 million seems crazy and typically you’d be right, but Peters is just different.

Sure, he’s shown his age more and more with each passing season, appearing in only seven games in 2017 and only playing 80 percent of the Eagles offensive snaps in 2018, but when compared to the current tackle market, it’s hard not to say objectively that the Eagles didn’t secure a steal on a day so often associated with record-setting deals.

Case and point: Trent Brown.

After toiling away in San Francisco as a fringe starter from 2015-17, Brown was traded to the New England Patriots in 2018 along with a fifth-round pick for a third-round pick, and quickly played himself into the most lucrative contract ever awarded to an offensive tackle in league history; $66-million over four years.

Could we one day look back on this deal and consider it money well spent? Well, sure, maybe the 6-foot-8, 380-pound mountain of a man will transform himself into the second coming of Jonathan Ogden and earn a bust in Canton, but Brown was initially selected in the seventh round for a reason, namely his ‘lack of playing experience and conditioning’.

Holding the dubious honor of being the ‘heaviest player in the NFL‘, one has to wonder if Brown’s improved play will translate into a new scheme that doesn’t rely on an exotic array of blocking schemes, multiple tight end packages, and the use of a fullback.

The Eagles, on the other hand, know exactly what they are getting in Peters, as he’s entering his 11th season with the club.

Will he rebound from 2018, his worst statistical season as a pro, and return to his former Pro Bowl form? Probably not, but the worst season of Peter’s career only rated out 3.4 points lower than Brown’s best season (73 vs. 69.6) according to Pro Football Focus, and that’s a pretty telling statistic.

And hey, if the Eagles were to somehow secure a better offensive tackle this offseason, like in the 2019 NFL Draft, Peters could easily shift inside to left guard and further fortify the team’s even more effective in the trenches, a major boon for the Birds that would be a total disaster in Oakland.

Re-signing Peters really has no conceivable downside, barring injury of course.

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Simply put, if Jason Peters can tone down the penalties, as his nine in 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles just took a significant step towards shoring up the best offensive line in the league for the low, low price of $10 million, a real bargain when you consider the current market value of offensive tackles.