When news of Andre Dillard suffering a season-ending biceps injury emerged on Thursday, many assumed the Philadelphia Eagles would simply move Jason Peters from right guard back to left tackle. But apparently it’s not exactly that simple.
Peters “wants to be paid like a starting left tackle if he’s to assume the role” for the 2020 NFL season, according to a report from the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. Peters is currently playing on a one-year, $3 million contract that’s reportedly worth up to $6 million.
This report explains why Doug Pederson curiously stated that Peters is merely “in the conversation” at left tackle as opposed to naming him the starter. Pederson also mentioned Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor, and Jack Driscoll (in that order) that they “want to look at over at the left side.”
Pryor was seen lining up at left tackle with the first team offense early in Saturday’s practice, which isn’t open to most media members due to the rain. Peters was seen at right guard with Jordan Mailata lining up at right tackle with Lane Johnson missing his sixth straight practice. To recap:
Left tackle — Matt Pryor
Left guard — Isaac Seumalo
Center — Jason Kelce
Right guard — Jason Peters
Right tackle — Jordan Mailata
It’s not so crazy that Peters is asking for more money. First of all, he re-signed with the team to play right guard. $3 million is around the 20th highest annual value at that position. $3 million at left tackle, meanwhile, checks in at 30th.
Peters also has the leverage to ask for more money. The future Hall of Famer has a lot of clout at the NovaCare Complex; he used the words “best friends” to describe his relationship with team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
And Peters knows the Eagles know their best starting offensive line combination is with him playing at left tackle, where he graded out highly by Pro Football Focus last year. The alternatives just aren’t great. Pryor has shown some promise but he’s never really played or taken reps on the left side at the NFL level. Mailata doesn’t look game ready based on how he’s been dominated by the likes of former UDFA signing Joe Ostman in practice. Driscoll is a rookie who has mostly played on the right side. Prince Tega Wanogho, another rookie, didn’t even draw mention from Pederson.
Peters’ camp has reason to leak this report because it makes the Eagles look cheap if they don’t acquiesce with his demands. Are the Eagles really going to be frugal about protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside?
Then again, the Eagles could be trying to paint Peters as selfish for asking for more money. Especially since most are aware that the team is hard up against the salary cap heading into the 2021 season.
Either way, it’s not so great that there’s another complication for the Eagles’ offensive line outlook. That unit has been imperative to their success in recent years and it’s just not looking so great or settled right now with Week 1 only 15 days away.
I guess we’ll know if the Eagles decided to pay Peters or not based on which position he ends up playing.
Should the Eagles give Jason Peters more money so he’ll move to left tackle?
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