Eagles fans everywhere became incredibly excited when a renowned NFL Analyst broke the news that “big news was coming to Philly” Sunday morning.
Dreams of an additional pass rusher or a top safety were squashed early Tuesday when the Eagles announced the return of 38-year old, Jason Peters to play Right Guard instead of his usual tackle position.
While some are pleased that the Eagles are able to fill a void after the loss of their Pro Bowl Guard, Brandon Brooks, there are still some major problems and red flags with bringing “The Bodyguard” back.
1. There’s no guarantee Peters will be able to perform at the same level
Jason Peters is a Hall of Fame Left Tackle. There’s absolutely no guarantee that he will be able to move to a completely different position and play at a high enough level to balance out Brook’s absence. Early in 2019, retired offensive linemen, Geoff Schwartz spoke to SB Nation about how difficult a position switch is for an offensive lineman. Here was his response:
“Moving from side to side is easy for some, but most often, it takes a while to adjust. In the immortal words of Josh Sitton, switching from one side to the other is ‘like wiping your ass with the other hand’…..moving a struggling OT to OG isn’t easy, and it’s rarely the solution.”
Just because Peters had played on the right side early in his career does not mean he will be able to be an above average player.
2. Are we forgetting JP’s Injury History?
Below is a game log of the amount of snaps Jason Peters has played in the last three seasons. Keep in mind his 2017 season was cut short because of an ACL Tear.
|# of Games without 100% snap count
|18 (Including Playoffs)
|14 (Including Playoffs)
In over half the games Peters started, he had to leave the game at some point due to injury in the last three years. Replacing an injured Brandon Brooks with an oft-injured Jason Peters is not something that Eagle fans will be comfortable with.
3. Is this a message to Andre Dillard?
This is a big season for Andre Dillard. No question about it. The Washington State product was average last year and has bulked up in the offseason. The loss of Brandon Brooks meant that the Eagles could go after a free agent guard to solidify the position.
Instead they go with the guy that Dillard is replacing. This is an insurance policy in case Dillard struggles but what kind of message does this send to a young talent? Confidence is key when playing offensive line and when you put a potential replacement right under him, there’s no guarantee that he will respond as well as people could hope.
4. There were younger options
All off-season we heard that Howie Roseman and the Eagles were looking to infuse younger talent on the roster. The NFL Draft solidified that mindset as the Eagles are bringing in over 20 rookies on to the roster to compete for a spot in 2020. When Brooks went down it forced the Eagles to make a decision. Either they could let the younger linemen on the roster like Matt Pryor a chance to compete for the starting job, or bring in an experienced veteran to add some insurance.
There were plenty of insurance-ready guards that could step in and replace Brooks admirably. Ex-Saint, Larry Warford is still a free agent after multiple pro bowl years in New Orleans. Oh, and this guy named Joe Thuney has been on the trade block since he was franchise tagged by New England this offseason. Both of these players are under 30 years old.
There’s no way you can convince me that bringing back a 30+-year-old tackle is better than bringing in an experienced guard who would be far younger.
5. The Eagles are way to attached to older players
This clip was back in 2019 when the Eagles brought back Brandon Graham and it still holds true to this day.
Dynasties and championship teams end when a bad move is made or a roster has too many older players because they just can’t end the relationship that brought about a championship in the first place.
Howie Roseman has said before that the Eagles do have relationships with their players and that makes it difficult for them to move on from.
But make no mistake, the Eagles bringing back Peters is a clear message: they simply cannot let go of the past.
Eagle fans can argue that parting with Malcolm Jenkins is a clear indicator that this isn’t the case, but in reality the evidence points to the contrary.
- Jason Peters
- Brando Graham
- Alshon Jeffery
- DeSean Jackson
- Jalen Mills
All of the names above are evidence that the Eagles have a soft spot for players they’ve had for a long time, especially when it comes to Howie Roseman. Jenkins was a Chip Kelly-era signing. Peters was a Joe Banner trade acquisition. Roseman loves his guys, and the evidence shows that if you are too loyal to certain players, you can hurt the progress of your team for years to come.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports