Any questions about Jason Peters and his return to the Eagles’ offensive line in 2019 have been answered as the team announced on Monday that Peters signed a one-year deal to play in Philadelphia for his 16th NFL season. A nine-time Pro Bowl player and six-time Associated Press All-Pro performer, Peters is expected to line up at left tackle for his 11th season as an Eagle.
A remarkable career continues at the age of 37.
“Jason is not a normal human being. He’s freaky,” Howie Roseman said of Peters last month at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer as a player and as a person."
The Eagles continued their early offseason theme of addressing the line of scrimmage with the new deal for Peters. They’ve signed defensive end Brandon Graham to a new contract through 2021, extended the contract of All-Pro center Jason Kelce through 2021, and came to terms on a new deal with starting left guard Isaac Seumalo through the 2022 campaign.
Earlier in the offseason, the Eagles restructured the contract of safety Rodney McLeod and re-signed linebacker Paul Worrilow, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. Thus, the team retained key veterans for 2019 and beyond and created some room within the salary cap in the process.
NFL free agency begins on Wednesday at 4 p.m. We’re just days away and counting down.
Peters in 2018 returned from a torn ACL suffered midway through the 2017 season and had a solid season despite recovering from the knee injury and battling quadriceps and biceps injuries. Peters started all 16 games in the regular season and played 79 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and then started the two postseason games, staying on the field for 88 percent of the snaps.
Given the injury situation and a projected high salary cap number, there were many wondering if the Eagles and Peters could work together to pave a road for Peters to play in the season ahead. The two sides have done that, and the Eagles are thrilled to have “The Bodyguard” ready to be the left tackle, protecting quarterback Carson Wentz’s blind side.
"Jason Peters is a valuable part of our offense and our offensive line,” head coach Doug Pederson said in Indianapolis. “Jason, I feel, still has some opportunity for us. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see where it ends up."
Clearly, it’s ended up in a very good place as Peters’ return adds more stability and continuity to an offensive line that had some serious question marks entering the offseason. The Eagles now have all five starters from 2018 in good standing, ready to compete to once again be a top offensive line in the NFL. The team knows it has to be patient as Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks continues his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the playoff loss at New Orleans, but Brooks has signaled on social media that he is making excellent progress.
In the meantime, left tackle is in good hands with Peters, who has a full offseason to train and prepare himself to be 100 percent for Training Camp and the season, backed up by Halapoulivaati Vaitai and prospect Jordan Mailata, who is ready for his second season of American football.
“In Jason’s mind right now, and I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I think he feels being healthy and being a 100 percent going into the offseason and going into Training Camp (is critical)," Pederson said. “Last year, he was coming off that injury, obviously, and then had to deal with some other (injuries). To play like he did, to battle through that injury every single week and the soreness and different things, is a credit to him.”
As Roseman said, Peters is not normal. His preparation is meticulous and, combined with extraordinary natural talents, Peters has been the NFL’s best left tackle of his generation and he’s clearly got more good football to play. Being healthy at this stage of the offseason is a big step forward for Peters, who admitted last season that he wasn’t “playing at a high level like I want to play,” as he recovered from the knee injury and had to fend off the other aches and pains and injuries.
There aren’t many, if any, 37-year-old left tackles who have the ability to improve their performances from the previous season, but Peters hopes a full offseason of good health will give him a chance to do just that. There is a lot to look forward to, then, with Peters coming back. He’s primed for more football at left tackle, and the Eagles are glad to have him back for 2019.