Speaking with reporters at Senior Bowl practice on Wednesday, Doug Pederson did not say if he wants Sam Bradford to return or not for the 2016 season. He did say, however, that he wants the Philadelphia Eagles to keep starting left tackle and future Hall of Famer Jason Peters.
"I think JP has several years good years left in him," Pederson said via NJ.com. "I think he does the right things in the offseason to get himself ready to go for another year. Really looking forward to visiting with him, sitting down and talking to him. Seeing where he is at, then motivating him for the next year."
Peters, who recently turned 34 years old, is set to make over $9.7 million in 2016. The Eagles can save just over $6.7 million by releasing him, but it appears that won't be the case if Pederson's words are any indication. Brent Celek's recent contract extension also seems to bode well for Peters' chances of remaining with the team. The Eagles clearly value the players who are well-respected in their locker room.
There's no question Peters is a phenomenal talent when he's at his best, but the 12-year NFL veteran has shown signs of aging in recent seasons. He made 14 starts in 2015 but he had to leave quite a few games early. Peters reportedly has a degenerative back condition, which is obviously a big concern. It's fair to wonder how much he really has left in the tank.
Immediately after the Eagles-Giants game in Week 17, Peters was asked a potential position switch. He did not seem very open to the idea. "Who are they going to put in there [at left tackle] that's better than me?" he asked. Less than week later, Peters went on a rant on Instagram about how he deserved to make the All-Pro team. Peters doesn't think he's in decline.
Whether the Eagles keep Peters or not, the team needs to starting planning for life without him. Lane Johnson may very well be the future left tackle. If that's the case, the Eagles will need to find a new right tackle at some point.