A once-dominant offensive line has been thrown into total disarray for the Eagles. Andre Dillard is out for the season and Jason Peters, who had been re-signed to play right guard, was assumed to move back to his old home at left tackle. At least, that was until he stomped his feet and folded his arms.
The return of Jason Peters
The Eagles had previously played this offseason perfectly. Parting ways with Jason Peters and allowing Andre Dillard to emerge as the team’s starting left tackle meant that the baton had finally been passed and the team could focus on the future. But when Matt Pryor went down with an injury, Howie Roseman was left in a pinch.
He brought back Jason Peters, who had reportedly declined contracts from elsewhere in a bid to remain with the team he’d spent the last ten years with. Peters signed a one-year $3M deal (worth up to $6M), which was perfect for someone playing a backup role…at a position he’s never played. That $3M value ranks outside of starting range at guard, per Spotrac, which makes sense. But now there’s a wildcard.
With Andre Dillard down and Doug ready to flutter his eyelids in what is a very reasonable expectation of the hall of fame-bound tackle moving back to his old stomping ground, Jason Peters has decided to kick right back, refusing to move to tackle without a payrise.
Upping the ante
It’s understandable. $3M would make him the 30th highest paid tackle in the league, which is definitely less than ideal, and we know Peters is hardly someone who likes taking paycuts…it took years for that to happen. However, the Eagles aren’t really in a spot to go wild.
They know fully well that once the clock strikes 12 after the final regular-season game, their cap picture transforms into one of absolute terror. The more they can carry into 2021, the better. Of course, this means guaranteeing Jason Peters a new Bugatti Veyron or 12 is suddenly a lot more difficult.
At the end of the day, Jason Peters should have known that there would be a chance he’d be asked to slide to tackle at some stage – be it as a backup or a pinch-starter. It’s his natural position and if he felt his services there would be exponentially more valuable, then that should’ve been negotiated into the deal.
Pulling the trigger
We know Jason Peters has significant pull in the locker room and this is far more political than many of us will realize, but the reality is that Peters isn’t the tackle he once was. A serviceable starter? Yes. Being a veteran player who gives up too many false start penalties and would struggle to finish the season given durability concerns do sort of negate the bodyguard’s left tackle prowess, however.
If Jason Peters wants to kick up a fuss, then Doug Pederson should absolutely kick up the competition. He’s already enabled Matt Pryor and Jack Driscoll to line up at tackle, listing Peters ‘in the competition’.
The last thing this Eagles team needs is a fracture in the locker room over unrealistic expectations and a contract issue that should have been negotiated in the first place. Peters was released. That era ended. You can’t allow an ex back into your house and start moving the furniture around because they don’t like what you’ve done with your own house.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire
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