Eagles go all-in on Jason Peters as their replacement right guard

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As soon as Brian Baldinger tweeted that there was a move coming that would make the Eagles ‘a lot better’, speculation soared. But for those who had hopes of a blockbuster trade, there was always the underlying suspicion that the team were bringing back a familiar face. That’s ultimately what happened, with the Eagles announcing on Tuesday morning that offensive lineman Jason Peters is set to return.

Peters returns on a contract worth $6M. This in itself is notable considering his last deal was actually worth $8.6M. We know for a fact that Peters had starting offers from other teams and it was reported that he was holding out for a potential Eagles return.

What’s interesting here is that in the team’s announcement, it’s already clear where his position will be, Peters is coming in to take over the right guard spot for a year while Brandon Brooks rehabs his torn achilles.

Peters allowed 3 sacks on 872 snaps last year at left tackle and although he was flagged frequently, he earned a PFF grade of 82.4…which is beyond impressive for someone his age. Now, the 38-year-old faces a mammoth task of not only transitioning inside to a position he hasn’t played in for years, but doing so on the other side of the field where every movement is now mirrored in comparison to what he’s used to. Andre Dillard found that challenging last year, who knows if JP will sink or swim?

It’s easy to see why the Eagles wanted to bring Peters back. There were no OTA’s this offseason and Training Camp looks like it’s going to be a total wildcard. Peters and his seven pro bowls while in Philadelphia knows the offense more than most and will obviously click with both Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson.

Matt Pryor would’ve probably been given a green light to go and secure the starting role had it not been for a total lack of offseason activity. Peters played in 953 snaps last year on the back of a truly incredible ten-year run with the Eagles.

This brings us to the leadership aspect. Peters has been known for a long time as a player who stays behind after practice and bring along younger players. Whether this is indeed Matt Pryor or even Andre Dillard who has the task of filling JP’s left tackle shoes, having Peters around to help the younger players can only be seen as a positive, and he’s brought back in a role that won’t be regarded as a ‘knock in confidence’ for the former first-round pick.

Peters’ presence also gives the Eagles an insurance policy. Losing both Halapoulivaati Vaitai and previously JP this offseason meant that depth at tackle behind Lane Johnson and Andre Dillard was bare. Should the worst happen, the Eagles know they can slide Peters back outside where he’s proven to be elite in each and every year he’s played for the birds.

The move was both predictable and understandable. It wasn’t the blockbuster move that everybody was dreaming of last night, but the Eagles could do a lot worse than Jason Peters, someone who they know inside-out both on and off the field and should be able to nullify some of the drop-off expected from losing Brandon Brooks for a year. The legend of the bodyguard continues.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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