One of the best left tackles in the entire league is still available for anybody to sign. Jason Peters at age 38 is still one of the league’s elite. Last year, Peters only gave up three sacks in 13 starts for the Philadelphia Eagles. PFF gave Peters a 82.4 grade for 2019.
Jason Peters came into the league and undrafted free agent out of Arkansas and should leave it in a gold jacket in Canton Ohio. Peters’ Hall of Fame Career started in Buffalo for four seasons and then spent then next 11 in Philadelphia.
It’s puzzling to see a player like Peters still available, but many expected him to retire after the season. His camp is reporting that teams are talking to him about a potential deal for 2020. Here are some teams that could be interested in bringing in Jason Peters.
One More Year
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Contract: 1 year, $10 Million
Many expected last year to be Jason Peters’ last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year in the first round, the Eagles traded up to select Andre Dillard with the 22nd overall pick. Dillard was to take over for Peters as the Eagles’ franchise left tackle this upcoming season. But after some uncertainty about Dillard, there have been rumors about the Eagles attempting to bring Peters back for at least next season.
NBC Sports has reported that it is “only a matter of time” before Peters reunites with the Eagles. Both parties want to reunite and have one last season with each other. The Eagles have the money to extend Peters a one-year contract at market price and still have money to spare. They have over $23 million in salary-cap space.
Bringing Peters back would mean another year on the bench for Andre Dillard, but also that means another year of development and getting acclimated to the NFL game. Dillard was not a finished product when the Eagles drafted him in the first round. He was a first-round pick because of his pass protection and his potential to be a franchise left tackle. He is still not up to the level that the Eagles wish he was at. So bringing in Peters would be a bridge option until Dillard is ready and would once again give them one of the best left tackles and offensive lines in football.
Checking off all the boxes
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Contract: 1 year, $12 Million
After a disappointing 5-11 season, the Los Angeles Chargers loaded up on talent this offseason and fill their major needs on their roster. The Chargers signed Chris Harris, Bryan Bulaga, Linval Joseph and Nick Vigil this offseason to fill some of their major needs. They also traded for Trai Turner and drafted (potential starting) quarterback Justin Herbert and starting linebacker Kenneth Murray.
The only void that seems to be left on their roster is left tackle. Russell Okung had been the team’s starter at the position for a couple of seasons, until they traded him away in the Turner deal. Even when he was on the team Okung was average at best when healthy and the Chargers could have used an upgrade.
After adding all the veterans they did this offseason, the Chargers are trying to still win now, only one year removed from a 12-4 year and a playoff birth. It would be great for Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert to have a blindside protector like Jason Peters rather than Sam Tevi, who is their listed starter and has played slightly below average during his time in the league. He would also provide great leadership and insight to a team that has a lot of young talent that could learn from a former Super Bowl Champion and future Hall of Fame veteran like Peters. The Chargers have just over $22 million in cap space to get this deal done. They would like to keep Peters in the building for two years, but Peters and his camp will likely suggest a year to year plan considering it is unknown if he wants to play longer than this next season.
Eliminate the need for a competition
Team: Denver Broncos
Contract: 1 year $10.5 Million
Going into this season the Denver Broncos are expected to have Garett Boles and Elijah Wilkinson compete for the starting left tackle job. Both have not played extremely well in their short time in the NFL and are trustable to protect the blindside of Drew Lock for the foreseeable future. After stocking up the offense with new weapons and toys for Drew Lock to play with via the draft and free agency, there should be no reason for the Broncos not to go out and get Peters to play left tackle for them.
The Broncos have more than enough cap space available to sign Peters and still have some money left over. Neither appear to be in the Broncos long term future. The Broncos rejected Boles’ fifth-year option and won’t likely extend Wilkinson unless it is cheap. They were also looking to address the tackle position early in the draft, but did not take any tackles at all in the draft.
If Denver has faith in Lock as the team’s starter they need to get him an upgrade at left tackle. Remember what happened to Baker Mayfield last season when he was given weapons, but did not have a left tackle or stable offensive line play? He disappointed many and had what most would consider a bad season. If John Elway does not want this to happen to Drew Lock he needs to bring in Peters to hold down Lock’s blindside and solidify the offensive line. If Lock has enough time the pocket he can easily take advantage of the players like Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Philip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon and help this offense reach its true potential.
Join a Rival
Team: Washington Redskins
Contract: 1 year $15 Million
One landing spot that seems to be off everybody’s radar for Peters is the in division Washington Redskins. It seems unlikely because there doesn’t seem to be bad blood between Peters and the Eagles. However, if any was to come up this would be a possible situation for him to land. The Redskins were forced to trade left tackle Trent Williams after he refused to play for the team ever again. This left Cornelius Lucas, Geron Christian and fourth-round pick Saadiq Charles to compete for the starting job going forward.
The biggest takeaway of the Redskins last season was how abysmal their offense was. They lacked a true number one wide receiver, their starting quarterback was not ready to play at all and on top of that their offensive line was one of the worst in the entire league and not doing anyone any favors. It went so bad that rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins had to yell at his offensive line asking “What do I have to do?” in order to get them to block better for him.
So after Trent Williams is now gone for good, how do the Redskins expect to get better play up front and to get the best out of Dwayne Haskins or any of the running backs on this team? The Redskins need to bring in another talented offensive lineman. They already have Brandon Scherff, who’s is one of the best guards in football and Morgan Moses who is a solid right tackle. If they could add another offensive line starter they could possibly be competitive next season.
Peters likely wants to play for a contender next season, but everybody has a price. With over $35 million in available cap space the Redskins can offer Peters a lot more than any other team can. Ron Rivera needs veterans and better players to rebuild this offense. He can get himself a potential Pro Bowler and possible team captain in Peters right now.
Would you be Surprised?
Team: New England Patriots
Contract: 1 year $12 Million
Would Jason Peters signing with the New England Patriots surprise anybody in the NFL community? The answer to that question is no, because Bill Belichick has seemingly pulled off crazier. However, with just under $2 million available in salary cap space it seems unlikely. This is how they pull it off.
Fast forward to two weeks into the preseason. The Patriots’ front office has two major concerns. They cannot come to terms on an extension for (franchise tagged) Joe Thuney and Isaiah Wynn still isn’t playing great at left tackle. The Patriots need stability along their offensive line because they will likely be a run-heavy team and have questions about their new starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
The team finally decides to gage Thuney’s value on the trade market and see that the Cincinnati Bengals need an upgrade at left guard and trade him away for a second-round pick. The Patriots now have another draft pick that they could spend on a player or potentially trade in a package to get their next franchise quarterback come draft time. They could now put Isaiah Wynn at guard to fill Thuney’s void. Wynn was better suited to play guard coming out of Georgia and would likely play better there still.
The Patriots would now have an extra $16 million to spend and could sign an upgrade at left tackle in Jason Peters to complete the offensive line. In this scenario, the Patriots would get an extra draft picks and still have one of the best offensive lines in football. This scenario is more realistic than people realize. The Patriots are always a contender to land future Hall of Fame veterans.
Are they trying to win now?
Team: Miami Dolphins
Contract: 1 year $11 million
The Miami Dolphins only have one player on their roster over the age of 30, and that player is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is going to start this season for first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa. Like Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson should not play this year either, or shouldn’t get thrown out there right away. Jackson can and likely will be the Dolphins’ franchise left tackle, however, he isn’t ready yet to take on that responsibility. Who does that sound like..? Andre Dillard who Peters groomed last year in Philadelphia.
The Dolphins signed multiple starters in free agency making the Dolphins look like that they are not trying to tank this season and could win some games. The Dolphins could have one of the better defenses in football next year after pairing two of the league’s elite cornerbacks Byron Jones and Xavier Howard together and among that other veterans, they added to their roster.
Peters could be the Dolphins starting left tackle and the guy the young players on offense looks to learn from as they enter the league. He could also be a vital piece to this young team to show them how to buy into Brian Flores’ culture and teach them to win now. If Peters starts on the left side, Jackson could either be the back up left tackle or start on the right side. This might not be the most realistic spot for Peters to land, but it makes a lot of sense for what the Dolphins are trying to do next season.