Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters is officially headed to free agency

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

After over a decade in the trenches with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jason Peters is officially set to test the open market for the first time in his career.

Jason Peters has never been a free agent. Not really, at least.

After going undrafted out of Arkansas in 2004, then living his life as an oversized blocking tight end, Peters signed up with the Buffalo Bills and remained with the club until 2009, when he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a first, fourth, and conditional sixth-round pick.

From there, Peters signed contract extension after contract extension and became the longest-tenured player on the team.

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Peters played under three different head coaches, made five Pro Bowl appearances, and outlasted hundreds of players vying for long-term NFL careers.

There will come a day when Peters’ jersey hangs in the Eagles Hall of Fame, maybe even the actual Hall of Fame in Canton.

But barring something truly unforeseen, that may be the next time we see Peters in a midnight green jersey.

That’s right, after some confusing side talk from Howie Roseman at the combine, the Eagles have mutually agreed that Peters will enter the 2020 free agency class in order to find his next NFL opportunity.

Now typically, when a 38-year-old hits the ,open market it’s not much of a story – that is, unless his name rhymes with Bomb Baby. Peters is an exception to that rule, as he’s still a starting-caliber player. Not a Pro Bowl-caliber player, not anymore at least, but you’d be hard-pressed to find 20 left tackles who are better than Peters right now, let alone 31.

With teams like the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, and even the New England Patriots on the lookout for a long-term answer at tackle, it’s entirely possible that some team may opt to avoid fighting for a player like Iowa‘s Tristan Wirfs in the draft and throw $5 million at Peters as a stop-gap. Heck, there are legit Super Bowl contenders like the Kansas City Cheifs who could use Peters as an upgrade over their current options and may view his addition as a missing piece to their offense.

Or, as crazy as it sounds, maybe there won’t be much of a market for Peters, and he’ll be back in South Philly later this month to help Andre Dillard along with his professional transition.

Despite being old enough to be his dad, Peters and Dillard could once again compete for the same starting left tackle role, with the former having the decided advantage thanks to his advanced experience both with the Eagles and in Pederson’s scheme.

Think about that for a second; Peters has been playing tackle in the NFL longer than Dillard has been playing football, period. That’s crazy.

Next. The second time’s the charm for Frank Gore. dark

Now one could argue which player would make Philadelphia Eagles better both now and moving forward, as eventually Andre Dillard will have to prove whether or not he can be a franchise left tackle, but for now, it looks like the team has made its choice. For the first time in his career, Jason Peters is a free agent and barring an unforeseen turn or a particularly soft market, it looks like his time playing in South Philly is over.