Eagles Make Surprising Decision on Starting Left Tackle

Jason Peters

Getty Jason Peters is a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There has been a lot of rumors regarding the left tackle position in Philadelphia. Finally, the situation has some clarity.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Eagles are planning to let Jason Peters test free agency after 11 years with the team. Both head coach Doug Pederson and GM Howie Roseman have recently expressed interest in retaining the nine-time Pro Bowler but the Eagles also spent a first-round draft pick on his potential replacement, Andre Dillard. It’s a dilemma that Roseman called a “good problem to have.” The Eagles and Peters will remain in contact throughout the free-agency process, per Garafolo.

“We’re very confident in his ability to be a really good player,” Roseman said of Dillard last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “But it’s a good problem for us to have, that we have a lot of these offensive linemen that we think are good players and that can play.”

Dillard started three games at left tackle for the Eagles in 2019, plus a devastating start at right tackle for an injured Brandon Brooks. Pederson admitted that Dillard graded out at an average level and the concern within the organization remains that he may not be ready to start on a full-time basis.

It would be a pretty big jump for the organization to have him replace a future Hall-of-Famer and protect Carson Wentz’s blindside if they didn’t feel 100-percent confident in Dillard.


Peters’ Agent Confirms Client Might Be Moving On

While initial reports are that Jason Peters was testing the free-agent waters, in an effort to gauge interest from other teams and set a negotiating price, there was another sentiment that the left tackle was done in Philadelphia.

For good. His agent, Vince Taylor, confirmed to The Inquirer‘s Jeff McLane that the Eagles told Peters they do not plan to re-sign him. The assumption being that Peters will have a slew of suitors on the open market.

Peters made no bones about his desire to play at left tackle in 2020. He doesn’t want to switch over to the right side and he doesn’t want to play guard. Peters wants to start for a contending team and feels he can still play at a high level.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peters was the fourth-best tackle in football last season. He graded out at an 82.4 overall in 13 games while allowing just three sacks, four hits and 21 total quarterback pressures.

“I still can get it done,” Peters told reporters at the end of last season. “If I couldn’t get it done, I’d just walk away. But I can still go.”

Head coach Doug Pederson hinted last week that his preference was to bring Peters back for one more run.

“JP is a Hall of Fame left tackle in my opinion,” Pederson told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. “You want those kinds of guys back. They’re great for leadership with those young players.”

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