Speaking at the Senior Bowl earlier this week, new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson revealed that he wants 34-year-old Jason Peters back for the 2016 NFL season. And maybe even beyond. "I think JP has several years good years left in him," Pederson said.
Peters may very well be the team's left tackle of the present, but it's clear that Lane Johnson is the franchise's left tackle of the future. The Eagles signed Johnson to a six-year contract reportedly worth up to $63 million. Johnson knows a position change is eventually in store.
"I think moving forward … I think [left tackle] is what they drafted me for," Johnson said in a press conference on Friday. "Obviously, Jason Peters is probably the best tackle of all time, one of them. Him and Walter Jones, in my opinion. Having him here, he’s taught me so much and I’m just going to continue to do that until the time comes."
Peters' prime is obviously behind him. The 12-year NFL veteran struggled to stay healthy in 2015, which negatively impacted his performance. Despite signs of decline, Johnson insists Peters is still one of the best.
"I think whenever he’s healthy, I still think he’s probably one of the best — if the not the best — tackles in the league," said Johnson. "Moving forward, all those decisions will be made. For right now, I think he’s good where he’s at."
Johnson also said that Peters is his friend, so it's not weird how Johnson is viewed by the franchise as Peters' eventual replacement.
Peters obviously won't be around forever. The Eagles will eventually move Johnson over to the left side. In the meantime, it can't hurt to start planning for Johnson's replacement on the right.