Jason Peters

Pay Raise For Eagles’ Jason Peters

Jason Peters got what he wanted. On Thursday, the Eagles agreed to revise the veteran’s deal to pay him up to $8MM with $4MM guaranteed, according to agent Vince Taylor (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). 

[RELATED: Eagles Sign Josh McCown To Practice Squad]

The Eagles brought Peters back this summer to fill-in for injured guard Brandon Brooks. The lifelong tackle agreed to do so at a lesser rate – $3MM in base pay, plus $3M in incentives tied to playing time. The package included some easily achievable bonuses ($400K for 75% playing time), plus some trickier ones ($350K for 75% PT + Super Bowl victory; $1MM for 90% PT + First-Team All-Pro selection).

Then, the injury bug bit Andre Dillard. Peters asked for a pay bump to move back to his native position and the Eagles obliged. The extra expense is well worth it for the Birds. While the 38-year-old has lost a step, he still turned in a solid 2019 – Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s sixth-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019. Considering the going rate for tackles – and the dearth of talent at this stage of the offseason – it was a no-brainer. Even if Peters maxes out his full incentives package, he’s still a tremendous bargain at ~$8MM for the year.

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Eagles’ Jason Peters Wants Pay Raise To Play LT

Jason Peters is willing to fill the Eagles’ left tackle void, but he wants a pay bump in exchange for moving back to his natural position (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). From here, the Eagles will have to weigh the benefits of having Peters step in for Andre Dillard versus the added cost. 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Andre Dillard Done For Year]

Peters would be an obvious replacement for Dillard in the wake of his season-ending biceps injury, but Peters gave the Eagles a discount with the assumption that he’d be playing on the interior, to replace Brandon Brooks. As it stands, Peters is under contract for $3MM in base pay, plus $3M in incentives tied to playing time. The package includes some easily achievable bonuses ($400K for 75% playing time), plus some trickier ones ($350K for 75% PT + Super Bowl victory; $1MM for 90% PT + First-Team All-Pro selection).

It’s not clear what Peters is looking for, but a compromise could be found by converting Peters’ entire incentives package into guaranteed base salary. But, even then, Peters would be playing at a tremendous discount for a starting-caliber left tackle.

While the 38-year-old has lost a step, he still turned in a solid 2019 – Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s sixth-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019. Peters is also planning to stick around for a while. His goal is to play for a few more years, joining Hall of Famers Jackie Slater and Ray Brown as the only tackles to play past the age of 40.

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Eagles To Re-Sign Jason Peters

Jason Peters is back with the Eagles. The nine-time Pro Bowler has agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $6MM, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Eagles Appeal To Jadeveon Clowney?]

Peters, one of the league’s most accomplished tackles, will be playing right guard this time around to replace Brandon Brooks. Peters may not have much experience there, but he’ll likely thrive on the interior. Even at the age of 38, Peters still has the agility and the bulk to make it work. He also has ample experience in all sorts of blocking schemes, so it shouldn’t take him long to get the hang of it.

Peters stood as the best offensive lineman on the open market and one of the best free agents left, period. While he’s lost a step, he still turned in a solid 2019 – Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s sixth-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019. Peters is also planning to stick around for a while – he says that he wants to play until he’s 40, so he could fly with the Eagles through 2022. For now, it’s a one-year arrangement.

Brooks suffered a torn Achilles in June while working out at the team facility, and it was a devastating blow for the Eagles’ O-Line. It was also personally devastating for Brooks, who tore his other Achilles in January of 2019.

Brooks performed as one of the best interior linemen in the league since joining the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent. Peters, of course, has been one of the league’s premier outside blockers. Originally, head coach Doug Pederson indicated that he’d fill the void internally, but everyone knew that Peters was the most logical choice for the job.

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Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?

After losing Brandon Brooks for the year, many have been quick to connect the dots between the Eagles and old friend Jason Peters. A reunion certainly seems possible, but head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll take a good look at his in-house options first. 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year]

My heart sunk when I got the news,” Pederson said (Twitter link via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “We are still looking at a lot of options. Starting with our own roster. We’ve got some time before training camp.”

Since joining the Eagles, Brooks has blossomed into one of the game’s best guards. Despite the bad luck with injuries – two Achilles and one shoulder tear – he’s managed to make the last three Pro Bowls. He lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal, prompting the team to lock him up with a four-year, $54.2MM pact late last year. At the time of signing, the deal made Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with his $13.6MM AAV only trailing Zack Martin‘s $14MM/year.

Peters, meanwhile, stands as the best available offensive lineman left, and one of the best free agents left on the market, period. His age (38) has hindered his market, but he turned in yet another solid season in 2019. Peters has said that he’s willing to play on the left or the right side, so it stands to reason that he could be talked into moving inside.

Larry Warford would represent a less flashy option, but he still offers ample starting experience. And, for what it’s worth, he’s a whole lot younger – Warford will turn 29 later this week. The Eagles’ tight cap situation for 2021 would make a multi-year deal tricky, but Warford might be willing to accept a one-season prove-it deal at this stage of the offseason.

Internally, the options are somewhat limited. Matt Pryor, who has experience at guard and tackle in the Eagles’ system, would be the favorite to fill in. There’s also fourth-round rookie tackle Jack Driscoll, who has taken some snaps on the inside.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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