Please God, no.
No Jason Peters on the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2020 roster. Let him sign a one-year deal with the Chargers, then he retires at the age of 39 and heads off to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Birds fans then drive to Canton and cheer for him as he makes his acceptance speech.
He’s in the (admittedly sparse) news cycle right now because right tackle Lane Johnson, who played seven seasons opposite Peters on the offensive line, spoke with John Clark this week and didn’t rule out the possibility of the veteran’s return:
“I think there’s always a chance,” Johnson said. “Really, right now, all we have is time. We’ll see what happens, I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Hmm, okay. Seems rather innocuous but that last line bothers me.
Last year, the Eagles used a first round pick to select their left tackle of the future in Andre Dillard, who enters his sophomore NFL season. It’s time to hand the keys to him and move on from JP for good. You can’t keep kicking this can down the road. At some point, Dillard has to be the guy.
Peters played 13 games last year, about 75% of the available offensive snaps, and missed three weeks in the fall when he had to get his knee scoped. He played 16 games the previous year, which only amounted to 79% of the snaps as he came on and off the field at times. In 2017, he suffered the ACL tear and was placed on IR after seven games. 2016 was Peters’ last Pro Bowl season, when he played 16 games and was on the field for 98% of the snaps.
There’s a situation here, where if you’re banking on Peters being hurt again or only playing 75-80% of snaps even if healthy, that could allow Dillard to still get playing time despite being #2 on the depth chart. That mirrors what happened this season and allows for, perhaps, marginal Dillard growth. But with Peters turning 39 in January and having already delayed the installment of his replacement, I think most Eagles fans would probably say that it’s time to move forward in the left tackle department.