The Eagles have made a history of bad decisions when it comes to Jason Peters. After finally parting ways with him after the 2019 season, Roseman vowed to change his ways and separate his emotional connection to players who have been around the team for some time from his business decisions. If we fast forward to a crucial point in the season, Peters is somehow at the center of discussions again.
Peters was initially signed as an emergency right guard during the offseason, despite there being players who had RG experience available through free agency and even closer to home, on their roster. Switching sides is one thing, moving inside after a Hall of Fame career at LT wasn’t going to be a smooth process.
The plan to start Peters at guard was thrown out of the window when Andre Dillard suffered a season-ending bicep injury. Instead of returning to his old stomping ground without a second thought, the 38-year-old Jason Peters decided to fold his arms and demand a bigger bag for playing a different position than the one he was signed to play.
That experiment failed.
Jason Peters picked up an injury in week 3 and only just returned to practice for the first time since that day. Last year he allowed 3 sacks on 872 snaps. He allowed 3 sacks in 229 snaps this time around.
While injured, third-year project Jordan Mailata stepped up to the plate to face the Steelers, Ravens, Giants, and Niners. With a PFF grade of 60.6, Mailata has allowed 3 sacks in 223 snaps. The difference between him and Peters is that A) He’s had (4) games of NFL action and not 208. His starts also featured very strong outings against two elite defenses.
Upon returning to practice, Jason Peters returned to Left Tackle, with Jordan Mailata bumped over to Right Tackle in place of the injured Lane Johnson. This understandably sparked panic. It’s happening again.
However, it’s a little too early to sound the alarms. Mailata getting reps at RT is encouraging and likely means he will play. But the Eagles made a costly mistake last year and it looks like they could be in-line to make it again.
Going into the game against Seattle last year, the Eagles threw Andre Dillard to the Wolves by starting him at RT. It was a position he’d never played and he voiced very clear concern about it prior to taking a snap. The Eagles did nothing and Dillard was pulled mid-game after a predictably terrible performance.
Jason Peters then came out and said he would play Right Tackle next week if needed (and didn’t demand a new deal). This was the equivalent of locking the gate after the Horse had bolted. The damage had been done.
Now, they’re throwing someone to the Right Tackle Wolves who may have seen Training Camp reps there, but again, has 4 total games of NFL experience and has held his own on the left, settling in nicely. They cannot afford to knock the confidence of Mailata, who absolutely deserves to be the starting LT, just to please Peters, who doesn’t offer much more than the young Aussie in that spot.
If the Eagles do ride Peters at Left Tackle, it may well come back to haunt them. Not just in the short-term, but in the long-term.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire