Jason Peters

Top Remaining Free Agents

While most of the top free agents in this year’s cycle have long since signed with new clubs, there are plenty of potential difference-makers still available. Those players remain on the market for various reasons — price tag, injury concerns, etc. — but they all could be a key factor in the fortunes of whatever team they ultimately join. Let’s take a look at the best of who’s still out there:

  1. Jadeveon Clowney: If you think you’ve been reading a lot about Clowney over the past couple of months, you’re right. That’s what happens when a former No. 1 overall pick and a young dynamic talent is still up for grabs this late in the offseason. Clowney’s high asking price, originally said to be $20MM per year, certainly scared some teams off, as did his recent core muscle surgery. Some will also point to his relatively low sack totals as evidence that he is not the dynamic pass rushing force that he believes himself to be. But he undeniably has the chops to be a game-changer against the run and pass, and he is content to wait for the right situation to come along. Once teams have the opportunity to evaluate him themselves, his market should heat up rapidly.
  2. Cam Newton: Here’s another former No. 1 overall pick that we have written a great deal about recently. Like Clowney, the 2015 MVP may be signed by now if interested teams could have their own doctors examine him, and Newton is willing to be patient and wait for that to happen if waiting will allow him to secure a starting gig somewhere. But at this point, it looks like only an injury or major underpeformance will open the door for a QB1 role in 2020, so he may have to settle for a top backup job for now and hit the free agent market again in 2021. He is reportedly warming to that idea.
  3. Everson Griffen: Like Clowney, Griffen is a talented pass rusher, but unlike Clowney, Griffen has multiple double-digit sack campaigns under his belt. The 32-year-old posted eight QB takedowns in 2019, and it is a little surprising to see him unsigned this late in the process. A reunion with the Vikings may be in the cards, and the Seahawks are the only other club to be connected to Griffen at this point.
  4. Jason Peters: The only reason Peters isn’t signed yet is because of his age (38). He turned in a typically terrific season in 2019, and he has been connected to a number of clubs over the past couple of months. The problem is, many of those teams have filled their needs at the offensive tackle spots, so even though Peters has said that he is willing to play on the left or the right side, his options are now more limited. The Chargers could still be in play, and another year with the Eagles may also be a reality.
  5. Logan Ryan: Unlike several of the players ahead of him on this list, Ryan doesn’t have any notable health concerns, but his asking price — he’s seeking around $10MM per year — could be depressing his market. He turned in a productive 2019 season with the Titans and has the versatility to move around the defensive backfield, which has apparently led to multi-year offers. Given the need for quality corners in today’s game, Ryan will likely land a lucrative deal soon, it just may not be as lucrative as he wants. The Jets and Dolphins are involved in the bidding.
  6. Markus Golden: Golden enjoyed what appeared to be a breakout season with the Cardinals in 2016, posting 12.5 sacks in just his second year in the league. But injuries limited the edge rusher over the 2017-18 seasons, and he had to settle for a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants in 2019. He perhaps thought that he proved it, recording 10 sacks for Big Blue, but those 10 sacks came from just 26 total pressures, which is probably an unsustainable conversion rate. So far, only the Giants — who put the rarely-used UFA tender on Golden — have been publicly connected to him.
  7. Devonta Freeman: We haven’t heard a peep about the two-time Pro Bowl running back since the Falcons released him in March. The fact that Atlanta replaced him with Todd Gurley and his frightening injury concerns isn’t a good sign, and Freeman’s 3.6 YPC average in 2019 certainly isn’t helping matters either. Freeman’s own injury problems limited him to two games in 2018, so he is now two years removed from his last effective season. It’s nonetheless a bit of a surprise that there have been no rumors of interest in his services.
  8. Delanie Walker: The best tight end left on the market, Walker has battled injuries over the past two seasons and will turn 36 in August, so it makes sense that we haven’t heard too much about him lately. But while he may not be a TE1 anymore, he could still be a useful weapon in the passing game, and he also has a history of being a strong blocker. The Colts, Packers, and Redskins were said to be interested in him in March, and those teams continue to look like good fits even after the draft. The Ravens, who rely heavily on TEs and who traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason, also make some sense.
  9. Eric Reid: The 28-year-old safety turned in what appeared to be a strong year in 2019, starting all 16 games for the Panthers and posting a career-best 130 tackles. The problem is, he may have had so many tackle opportunities because he allowed over 77% of throws in his vicinity to be completed. Still, he is an experienced and generally solid back-end defender, and the Texans — who employ his brother, Justin Reid seem like a logical fit.
  10. Darqueze Dennard: Dennard, a former first-round pick of the Bengals, thought he had a deal with the Jaguars in March. But Jacksonville backed out of the deal, and while there was no word on why that happened, it could be that health concerns made the Jags skittish. Dennard missed the first few weeks of the 2019 season due to a knee procedure, but he did play every game from Week 10 forward and graded out well in terms of Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He has been Cincinnati’s primary slot corner over the past several seasons, but there has been no reported interest in him since the failed Jaguars pact.

NFC East Notes: Vander Esch, Eagles, Solder

Some positive Cowboys news emerged this week. Third-year linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has fully recovered from the offseason neck surgery he underwent. The former first-round pick told NFL.com’s Jane Slater he has been training full-go for multiple months (video link). Vander Esch was projected to be ready for OTAs, so it does not come as a major surprise he has moved past the injury that sidelined him for much of last season. However, Vander Esch’s cervical spinal stenosis condition — diagnosed while he was at Boise State — would make future neck surgeries problematic. So his transition back to the field will be a key part of Cowboys training camp.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting to some of the division’s offensive lines:

  • Doug Pederson confirmed the Eagles have engaged in talks with 11-year left tackle starter Jason Peters, whom they let hit the market in March. However, the fifth-year Eagles coach expects 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard to start at left tackle in 2020. “With Jason Peters, listen, we’ve always said we’d stay in touch with him during the offseason and we have,” Pederson said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank. “I have a lot of respect for a guy like Jason Peters who played that left tackle position for so many years at a high level. But as we move forward, Andre Dillard was a guy we drafted to be that left tackle for us. The way Andre played last year kind of propels him into this offseason where he’s taken command of that role.”
  • Shifting to the Giants‘ left tackle situation, Nate Solder‘s contract makes it likely he will keep that job for a third season. But this will almost certainly be Solder’s last as a Giant, Dan Duggan of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Thanks to a September 2019 restructure, Solder carries a monster $19.5MM cap hit this season. The Giants can save $14MM by shedding his contract in 2021, which is the final season of the ex-Patriot’s four-year agreement. Big Blue drafted Andrew Thomas No. 4 overall, and it would be logical for the Georgia product to move from right to left tackle next year. New York used a third-round pick on UConn tackle Matt Peart, potentially planning a Thomas-Peart starting lineup in 2021.
  • The Redskins brought back veteran cornerback Aaron Colvin, whom they initially signed during the 2019 season.

Latest On Jason Peters’ Market

Connected to a possible return to the Eagles for what would be a 12th season in Philadelphia, Jason Peters remains a free agent. And he either is attempting to convince teams he can be an option for longer than one season or he believes he will legitimately play into his 40s.

The decorated left tackle has said that he feels great and views playing past 40 as realistic, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (video link). While the Eagles and Peters appear to be in a holding pattern for now, Garafolo adds other teams have engaged in discussions with the 38-year-old blocker.

Teams like the Broncos and Chargers make sense for a stopgap left tackle. Neither drafted one, and the Bolts now have a new quarterback investment — in No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert — and a glaring vacancy at left tackle after trading Russell Okung to the Panthers for Trai Turner. The Broncos, Bolts, Browns and Jets could be suitors, per James Palmer of NFL.com, but nothing concrete has emerged on Peters beyond a potential Eagles return. The Browns and Jets drafted tackles in Round 1, and each is expected to start in Week 1.

Denver did not pick up Garett Bolles‘ fifth-year option but was also not in the mix for Trent Williams, Palmer adds. As of now, the Broncos’ plan is for Bolles and swing man Elijah Wilkinson — who started at right tackle for most of 2019 due to Ja’Wuan James‘ injury issues — to battle for the left tackle spot. The Broncos carry just more than $17MM in cap space; the Chargers hold $22MM-plus. Both teams were active in March, adding several new starters, and the Broncos loaded up on offensive playmakers in the draft. Each AFC West squad, though, has a big question at left tackle.

As for Peters’ plans of playing past 40, that would certainly be a rare occurrence for his position. Hall of Fame right tackle Jackie Slater and Ray Brown, who primarily played guard in his 20-year career, are the only tackles in NFL history to suit up for age-40 seasons. Andrew Whitworth, however, just re-signed a multiyear deal with the Rams. He will turn 39 later this year.

Eagles, Jason Peters Discussing Return

Jason Peters has discussed a new deal with the Eagles, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The 38-year-old isn’t rushing the process, however, and Schefter hears he’s keeping his options open. 

[RELATED: Eagles Interested In Jadeveon Clowney?]

The Eagles have left the door open for the nine-time Pro Bowler, but they still have other needs to consider this offseason. On the whole, they have solid flexibility for the 2020 salary cap, even though they’ve over-committed to spending for 2021. Next year’s books shouldn’t affect their consideration of Peters much – at his age, he’s probably not seeking, demanding, or expecting a multi-year deal.

Peters, meanwhile, has been working out throughout the offseason – despite the obvious limitations of the past few months – and says he wants to play this year. A new deal would mark Peters’ 17th season as an NFL pro, giving him a chance to build on a resume that already includes two First Team All-Pro nods and a Super Bowl ring. Recently, we learned that Peters would be willing to play on the right side of the line for a team in Super Bowl contention.

Last year, Pro Football Focus graded Peters as the NFL’s sixth-best tackle out of 81 qualifiers. It was an emphatic comeback from a down 2018 season and an injury-marred 2017 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jason Peters Open To Playing RT

Longtime Eagles LT Jason Peters is open to playing right tackle if it will help him land a job, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets. Peters graded out as the No. 6 overall tackle in 2019 per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, but he is still looking for work as we hit the second wave of free agency.

Of course, part of that is due to Peters’ advanced age. He turned 38 in January, so teams in need of an OT are likely trying to see if there are longer-term options available. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if Peters will need to wait until after the draft to find a new club.

But he will certainly be playing somewhere in 2020. Over a remarkable 16-year career, Peters has accumulated nine Pro Bowl nods, two First Team All-Pro bids, and a Super Bowl ring. He has played on the right side before, and it would probably not be too difficult for him to move back to RT if necessary.

The Buccaneers, who are clearly all-in on bringing home a championship in 2020, could see Peters as a win-now option at RT, and while the Browns filled their right tackle vacancy by signing Jack Conklin to a massive free agent deal, Cleveland’s LT job is still wide open. The Chargers also profile as a potential landing spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Will Consider Trent Williams, Jason Peters

The Browns are in need of help at left tackle, and the club will keep its eye on two veteran options as the trade and free agent markets come into focus over the next two weeks. Cleveland will “consider” both Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams and pending free agent Jason Peters as it aims to solidify Baker Mayfield‘s blindside.

Williams, who was earlier today granted permission to seek a trade by Washington, was a target of ex-Browns general manager John Dorsey in 2019. Cleveland was arguably Williams’ most serious suitor ahead of last year’s trade deadline, but the Redskins held firm on their asking price of a first-round pick.

The Browns declined to meet that ask, but they might have another shot at landing Williams, especially now that Washington’s personnel decisions are being made by head coach Ron Rivera and VP of player personnel Kyle Smith (at least, until after the draft). Williams, who has one year and $12.5MM in base salary remaining on his contract, wants to become the highest-paid tackle in the NFL, meaning he’ll need an extension upon being traded.

A cancer scare and a resulting spat with Redskins management sidelined Williams for the entirety of the 2019 campaign, and other health question marks have caused Williams to miss at least one game in every season since 2013. But the 31-year-old has been excellent when on the field, earning Pro Bowl nods in every season from 2012-18.

Peters, meanwhile, will test free agency instead of re-signing with the Eagles in advance of the market’s opening. Although he’s now 38 years old, Peters remains a high-quality left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded the nine-time Pro Bowler as the league’s sixth-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019.

Cleveland is in dire straits at left tackle after Greg Robinson, who played the majority of the Browns’ snaps on the left side last season, was arrested on a felony marijuana charge last month. Justin McCray, who also saw time on the blindside, hasn’t proven to be anything more than a replacement level player on more than 1,300 career snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles LT Jason Peters Set To Hit Market

Jason Peters is not planning to retire, and the veteran left tackle will have a chance to hit the market. The Eagles are not expected to reach an extension agreement with their 11-year left tackle before the start of free agency, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The Eagles are believed to be split on bringing back to the 38-year-old blocker, but Doug Pederson would welcome the likely Hall of Famer back in Philadelphia for another season. The Eagles and Peters remain in contact, per a team announcement. If the parties cannot agree to an extension before March 16, when the tampering period opens, outside interest will come Peters’ way.

After a down 2018 season, and an injury-marred 2017 slate, Peters rebounded in 2019. Pro Football Focus rated the 16-year veteran as its No. 6 overall tackle. Peters is the only Eagles offensive line starter not locked up long-term. The team used its 2019 first-round pick to select his heir apparent, in Andre Dillard, and extended the rest of its high-end offensive line last year.

This market technically features some interesting names at left tackle. However, Anthony Castonzo is expected to return to the Colts, and Sean McVay anticipates Andrew Whitworth returning to the Rams. The Cardinals recently extended would-be free agent D.J. Humphries.

The Eagles acquired Peters during the 2009 offseason, and he’s been the team’s left tackle since the Donovan McNabb era. The Bills dealt Peters after back-to-back Pro Bowl slates. He’s now sitting on nine Pro Bowl seasons and two first-team All-Pro honors. The Bills gave Peters his first extension, in 2006, but the former UDFA outplayed it and did not land a new deal until the Eagles trade. The Eagles extended Peters in 2009, 2014 and ’17. But it is now uncertain if one last Philly re-up is coming.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Fins, Tua, Peters, Anderson

We heard back in January that the Dolphins may pursue some of the Patriots’ top FAs, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ‘Fins are indeed expected to go after guard Joe Thuney. Miami also has interest in Devin McCourty, Ted Karras, and Kyle Van Noy, though the extent of that interest is unclear.

Per Jackson, the Dolphins are also high on former Patriots CB Logan Ryan, who spent the last three years with the Titans. And Ryan would seriously consider joining up with Miami if the club does make an effort to sign him.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Recent reports have suggested that the Dolphins are cooling on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and that the team is resigned to the fact that he will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Jackson says Miami gave Tagovailoa the cold shoulder at the combine, but that was likely just a ploy to suggest that they’re not interested when they really are, and draft gurus Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah still expect the Fins to land Tagovailoa.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson may want LT Jason Peters back, but the team’s brass as a whole is split as to whether to re-sign Peters or move forward with 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, as Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The money they save on a new Peters contract could be re-invested in the rest of the O-line, so Philly could choose to move on from the 38-year-old free agent.
  • Although Robby Anderson may find himself as the best receiver on the free agent market, the Jets are still expected to try to re-sign him. But according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York will not pursue a re-up unless Anderson’s price goes no higher than $10MM per year.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com takes a stab at how the Redskins will spend their money in free agency. Unsurprisingly, he believes Washington will target CB, TE, WR, and RB.

Latest On OT Jason Peters, Eagles

If Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has his way, Jason Peters will be back in Philly next season. When asked if he’d welcome back the 38-year-old offensive lineman, the head coach didn’t mince words.

“Yeah,’’ Pederson told Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane on Twitter). “I think I said the same thing [last year] about Darren Sproles.

“JP is a Hall of Fame left tackle in my opinion. You want those kind of guys back. They’re great for leadership with those young players.’’

While the 16-year veteran may be getting up there in age, Peters was still plenty productive last season. As Domowitch notes, Pro Football Focus rated Peters as the league’s fourth-best tackle, and he only allowed three sacks and 21 quarterback pressures. After making a modest $6MM last season, the veteran is set to hit free agency.

It would also make sense for Philly to move on from the veteran, especially since they traded up to select Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard in the first round. Of course, as Domowitch observes, the Eagles thought they were drafting Peters’ replacement when they selected Lane Johnson back in 2013; Johnson has since been moved to right tackle.

While general manager Howie Roseman didn’t give such a definitive answer about Peters’ role on the 2020 squad, it sounds like he’s also open to re-signing the veteran.

“When you’re talking about Jason Peters, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player, a Hall of Fame person,’’ Roseman said. “Someone who’s very special to us and played at a really high level for us last year. We’ll go through all of these decisions this week.’’ 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles LT Jason Peters Does Not Plan To Retire

Eagles left tackle Jason Peters told reporters after Philadelphia’s loss to the Seahawks that he will not retire and plans to return in 2020 for his 17th NFL season, according to Eagles Insiders Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher. Peters started 13 games this season and remained one of the best offensive tackles in football, but considering he will turn 38 in a few weeks, retirement would not have been a surprise.

The Eagles would surely welcome Peters back, but set for free agency he will be free to sign with any team. It’s hard to foresee him leaving Philadelphia, but another team with cap space could make a run at the veteran tackle.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, pointed out that another veteran along the Eagles offensive line, Jason Kelce, was unwilling to make the same statement. Garafolo added that Kelce “was the last player out of uniform” and “Didn’t look like he wanted to take it off.” Kelce will talk to reporters tomorrow and Garafolo’s report seems to suggest he is leaning towards retirement. If he does, the Eagles will already need to replace one starter and may be even more inclined to keep Peters in the fold.