The Eagles have been tied to a bunch of free agents over the past 48 hours, which makes sense because they have plenty of holes to fill in their roster if they’d like to make the playoffs next season. Most of the players have been young, upward-trajectory players like Alshon Jeffrey, Brandin Cooks, and A.J. Bouye. Those are all good names.
Then there’s this:
Source says #Vikings have reached out to reps of Cincy FA DT Domata Peko. Also in mix are Cincy, Philly, SF. Peko is a Mike Zimmer favorite.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 8, 2017
This makes no sense whatsoever for the Eagles. Peko is a 32-year-old defensive tackle whose best years are decidedly behind him.
According to our pals over at Cincy Jungle, Peko is on a downward trajectory these days:
Peko has spent 11 seasons with the Bengals and at 32-years-old, he just played one of his worst seasons in the NFL (if not his worst), which included zero sacks on the season. In 2016, Peko recorded 37 tackles and 3 passes defended. In 2015, he had two fewer tackles, but a career-high 5.0 sacks. Those sacks helped justify Peko keeping his job in Cincinnati this season. But, entering free agency this March, it seems like the perfect time for the Bengals to thank Peko for more than a decade with the team and move on to a younger player who can replace him and play more effectively.
Oh, great! Sounds exactly like the kind of player the Eagles would want to be investing resources in while strapped for cash!
If the Eagles are moving on from Bennie Logan this week, which they might be because of the contract he’s expected to receive, Peko’s role would likely be to backup Beau Allen, who is reportedly in contract negotiations with the team. That would signal the Eagles’ intent to make Allen a cornerstone piece of their defensive line next to Fletcher Cox. I’m not sure if Allen has that kind of talent, but that’s beside the point.
Because the Eagles should not be interested in Peko. He’s old, he’s on the decline, and he’s going to be more expensive than a defensive tackle the team can draft in the fourth round. Remember, they have eight draft picks this year! And defensive tackle is decidedly a point of need if Logan does indeed walk away.
Which means Howie Roseman will know the team needs defensive tackle depth, and he will most likely draft one.
Quite literally the only reason I can imagine the Eagles even making a pass at Peko is the fact that he was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the same city Destiny Vaeao hails from.
That’s it. That’s the only reason.