After pro bowl guard Brandon Brooks tore his left achilles tendon during a workout in June, Eagles fans knew that the team needed to find a suitable replacement for such a key part of the offensive line.
Ideas started to float around of some free agents that could interest the Eagles, but speculation that they could bring back All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and move him to the guard position started to grow. Well the day finally came, as the Eagles officially welcomed him back with a one-year contract and asked that he would play right guard in his return to the Birds.
Peters will be spending his 12th season with the Birds this upcoming season (16th season overall in the league). Most fans have felt that the 38-year old Peters does not have much left to offer and his tank is almost empty after failing to play more than 80% of the team's offensive snaps the last three seasons.
So as the oldest offensive line player who is still playing the game, many wonder what does he have left to contribute? After spending the last few seasons riddled with injuries and numerous false start flags, why did the Eagles sign him to the guard position when it seems like he should retire?
One thing he has going for him is that the guard position requires less athleticism than his normal position at left tackle, but is more physically demanding. Even though in his prime he was once considered one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the league's history, that just isn't in his repertoire anymore. He still has his strength though, and I can see Peters blocking better against a stout defensive tackle now than dealing with a fast shifty defensive end.
Another positive is that he will have Pro Bowlers on both sides of him to help him manage himself in center Jason Kelce and in right tackle Lane Johnson. Last year with Peters on the left side of the line it felt like him and Isaac Seumalo were regularly folding under the pressure, leaving Carson Wentz to deal with defenders in his face and not giving him time to allow his receivers to get open.
Peters has long been considered a future hall of famer, so a player as decorated as him is not just used for his playmaking ability, but for his leadership and his guidance as well. The Eagles are hoping that keeping Peters around in the locker room for one more season will help make the younger players on the offensive line (Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor) better by picking his brain and listening to his advice.
So if you asked me if I thought it was a good idea to bring Peters back, I would have said no way if it was for the left tackle position. However, ask the same question but in his new position and it totally changes my response. I think Howie Roseman made a smart choice by bringing in a guy who knows the scheme and is going to help in the locker room as well as on the field rather than take a risk on a natural guard that was on the free agent market.
Peters is one of the most hard-working and determined players in this game, and he takes his job very seriously. If You mess with anyone on the Eagles offense, you know you are going to have the bodyguard to deal with. There is a reason he has that nickname and that's exactly who I'm expecting this 2020 season. Take a look down below to see the Jason Peters everyone loves and remembers and let's hope that is the Jason Peters we see in 2020, just at a new position.