The Eagles announced that they’d brought back Jason Peters on a one-year deal on Tuesday, days after speculation of a ‘big move’ started to run wild. But what does the return of the bodyguard mean for the rest of the offensive line?
The obvious impact here is that Pryor will no longer be immediately viewed as the starting right guard. However, given Peters’ injury history and the fact that he’s now 38 and moving to the right side for the first time in over ten years, having him on standby is by no means a bad thing.
Pryor will also probably massively benefit from not entering such a high-pressure scenario this offseason. With no OTA’s and a tricky training camp, Pryor won’t be thrown into the deep end and expected to hold the fort for 16 games, meaning he can focus on his development at a more comfortable pace under the tutelage of Jeff Stoutland and with the help of a new mentor.
This move may obviously have Andre Dillard looking over his shoulder. Peters has clearly been signed to play at right guard, but this is a hall of fame-bound tackle who will now spend an eleventh consecutive season in Philadelphia.
There is no Halapoulivaati Vaitai anymore. The tackle depth behind Dillard is non-existent and if anything, this probably is a vote for no-confidence in guys like Jordan Mailata and Casey Tucker (the next guys up). If Dillard struggles, having Peters around is such a huge bonus. It’s a way of keeping a tackle who’s still performing at a strong level around, without directly impacting the confidence of the young former first-round pick.
It also provides another mentor for Dillard, and a familiar one at that who helped him roll with the punches through his rookie season.
There were worse places for Peters to land, right? He’ll now be playing between Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce – two players he knows extremely well and has enjoyed huge amounts of success with. It isn’t going to be easy moving from left tackle to right guard with such limited reps, let alone working against guys like Cox, Hargrave, and Jackson who will all be problematic at worst and terrifying at best. Having Kelce and Johnson to lean on will be really valuable to JP, and to them, it’ll be valuable having someone who knows the offense inside out.
Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega-Wanagho were both drafted out of Auburn by the Eagles this year. For Driscoll, a move inside seemed imminent, while PTW looked destined to be another under-the-radar project. Given the lack of depth though, the likelihood of both players getting game action was high…at least until this signing. Instead, Stoutland now has the flexibility to develop his players at his pace as opposed to hurrying them along. Watching and learning from one of the best to ever do it can only aid their growth and as noted before, Peters has long been a teaching figure for younger players, and that shouldn’t change here.
Jerry Habraken, Delaware News Journal, Delaware News Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC