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Eagles, Jason Peters agree to one-year contract that will move him to guard

EJ Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Peters likely has dibs on his old locker, but his old position may be spoken for.

The 38-year-old agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles Tuesday morning after a long and fruitless stretch on the free-agency market. Upon the announcement of the deal, though, the lifelong tackle was listed as an offensive guard, signaling the Eagles' intention to bring Peters in as a replacement for Brandon Brooks. The deal is worth up to $6 million with $3 million guaranteed, according to Peters' agent Vince Taylor.

Brooks, one of the best guards in the NFL the last few seasons, tore his left Achilles tendon a little over a year after tearing his right one. Even though he made a remarkably speedy return from the first tear, he'll miss the 2020 season barring any major postponements due to the coronavirus.

Peters has spent the last 11 years with the Eagles and will be going into his 17th season in the NFL. He's a nine-time Pro Bowler and has made the All-Pro team twice. Peters struggled with false starts last year, getting flagged 11 times during the regular season, but otherwise played better than a good amount of other offensive tackles in the league.

He played in 13 games, missing three because of a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery and was ranked the sixth-best offensive tackle in 2019 by Pro Football Focus. Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson was ranked second.

The Eagles bringing Peters back as a guard still leaves an opening for 2019 first-round pick left tackle Andre Dillard to slot into his natural position after spending most of his rookie season shadowing Peters. Until Brooks' injury, signing Peters back as an offensive tackle could have been perceived as an indictment on Dillard's ability to fill Peters' shoes.

When asked about the dynamic between Peters and Dillard in May, Eagles coach Doug Pederson commended Peters, while emphasizing the team's desire to get Dillard on the field at tackle.

"Jason Peters is a tremendous, not only football player, but he is a tremendous Philadelphia Eagle," Pederson said. "I have a lot of respect for a guy like Jason Peters to play that left tackle position for so many years at a high level and so I have a lot of respect for his game and what he has accomplished in his career.

"But as we move forward, Andre Dillard was the player that we drafted to be that left tackle for us," he added. "Andre played last year, and I think that kind of propels him into this off-season where he's taken command of that role, and we have a ton of confidence, I have a ton of confidence in Andre Dillard and playing the left tackle spot."

 

Peters' return was met with praise from several Eagles players, including Carson Wentz and Lane Johnson, who both posted on Twitter to welcome the veteran offensive lineman to the fold.

Johnson was originally drafted as the heir apparent for Peters in 2013 before becoming one of the best right tackles in the NFL opposite him. Now, he's begun welcoming his one-time mentor on the right side of the line, being named to the All-Pro team in 2017 and making

Johnson posted a picture of him carrying his linemate's jersey out of the tunnel at U.S. Bank Stadium before Super Bowl LII in 2018. Peters missed the game because of a knee injury.

Jeff McLane contributed to this report.

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