Bears, OT Jason Peters Agree To Deal

Jason Peters will have a chance to play an 18th NFL season. The longtime Eagles left tackle agreed to terms with the Bears, according to his agency (on Twitter). Peters will join the Bears on a one-year deal, Jeremy Fowler of tweets.

The nine-time Pro Bowler will join a Bears team that is transitioning at tackle. Chicago parted ways with both Charles Leno and Bobby Massie, its starting tackle tandem of the past five years, and has much younger cogs in place at those posts. A 39-year-old blocker will now be in this mix, with Matt Nagy confirming Saturday (via The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain, on Twitter) that Peters will vie for the team’s left tackle job.

Peters said in January he planned to play in 2021, and he waited patiently as an opportunity came seven months later. The acclaimed tackle spent the past 12 seasons in Philadelphia, beginning his tenure blocking for Donovan McNabb and ending it with Carson Wentz. The Eagles have embarked on an interesting retooling effort, with a new coaching staff now in place.

While Peters re-signed with Philly last summer, he was not connected to another reunion with the team. This signing will, however, reunite Peters and Bears O-line coach Juan Castillo, who was Peters’ position coach in his first two seasons in Philly.

The Bears drafted Teven Jenkins in this year’s second round and signed former Broncos swing tackle/injury replacement Elijah Wilkinson this offseason. Jenkins is currently sidelined with a back injury. Peters obviously resides several tiers above each for accomplishments, though he certainly brings age- and injury-related questions. He suffered season-ending injuries midway through the 2017 and 2020 seasons, with a toe injury sidelining him last season. Peters last played 16 games in 2018.

That said, Pro Football Focus graded Peters as its No. 6 overall tackle in 2019. The former Bills UDFA has made 203 starts and made the Pro Bowl with both Buffalo and Philadelphia. The Bears, who now have a high-end quarterback investment to protect in Justin Fields, appear to be somewhat concerned about their tackle situation. They will see how much Peters has left in the tank.

Chicago’s Peters move carrying him into his 18th season will place the Hall of Fame candidate in rarefied air. Among non-quarterbacks and specialists, the Rams’ Andrew Whitworth is the NFL’s only other 39-year-old player on a roster. Only one player has started more than eight games at tackle at age 39 or older — Ray Brown, 2004 — so the two veterans will aim to further distinguish their careers this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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