Jason Peters

5 reasons Eagles are keeping expensive Jason Peters

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5 reasons Eagles are keeping expensive Jason Peters

When the offseason began, there was definitely a sense of unknown regarding Jason Peters.

The Eagles faced an offseason that presented tremendous salary cap challenges, Peters had just turned 36, carried a $10.7 salary cap hit in 2018 and was coming off another injury.

And his replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, was much cheaper and had played very well down the stretch and during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run.

It wouldn’t have been a shock to anybody if the Eagles moved on from Peters.

Yet here we are almost two months later, and Peters remains an Eagle and at this point will almost certainly be an Eagle in 2018.

Why is Peters still here? Let’s consider some of the reasons:

1. Effect in the locker room
Peters is so respected and even beloved in the locker room. It’s no coincidence photos showed him holding the Lombardi Trophy as he slept on the flight back from Minneapolis after the Super Bowl.  

The Eagles have already lost several veterans from the Super Bowl team. LeGarrette Blount and Brent Celek were tremendous leaders, and Donnie Jones, Trey Burton, Torrey Smith, Vinny Curry and Beau Allen were all important parts.

The response in the locker room if Peters’ name was added to the list would have been monumental. There wouldn’t be a revolt, but there would be a lot of unhappy Eagles.

2. He’s really not that expensive
Peters isn’t a bargain, but he’s not that expensive. His $10.667 million cap figure is 12th highest in the league among offensive tackles, and his $6.75 million 2018 base salary is 14th highest in the league among tackles.

The Eagles would save $3,916,666 under the cap if they released him and carry $10,666,666 in dead money in 2018. That’s a significant cap saving, but not an astronomical one.

3. Reggie and Dawk
Jeff Lurie bought the Eagles just two years after Norman Braman let Reggie White leave, and Lurie has regretted the way Brian Dawkins was allowed to leave after the 2008 season.

Lurie and Peters have a strong relationship, and there is no way Lurie wants to be the owner of a franchise that cut ties with White, Dawkins and Peters, three Hall of Famers.

4. Quick healer
Peters is coming off a serious knee injury. He tore his ACL and MCL in late October vs. the Redskins.

But nobody can doubt Peters’ work ethic when it comes to rehabbing. This is a guy who suffered two torn Achilles injuries in 2012 — one that March and a second in May — leading some to speculate that his career was over.

But he was 100 percent by opening day and played that entire 2013 season, making the Pro Bowl and being named first-team All-Pro.

5. What do we really know about Big V?
Vaitai played better and better and was very good in the postseason, but he’s still a 24-year-old former fifth-round pick with 16 career starts — only nine at left tackle.

Vaitai has been good, but have we seen enough of him to feel confident that he can replace a legend?

Peters is not like other human beings who inhabit the planet Earth. Even at 35 years old, he was as dominating as ever before he got hurt, and he’s made the Pro Bowl nine straight years he’s been healthy.

He’s shown no sign of slowing down, and the Eagles clearly don’t expect him to anytime soon.

Legend Jason Peters gets legendary Eagles Super Bowl truck

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Legend Jason Peters gets legendary Eagles Super Bowl truck

Everyone loves Jason Peters.

And how can you not?

Remember when 69,596 fans were chanting his name as he was carted off the field with a season-ending ACL and MCL tear last October?

There's plenty of validation for that.

"He is a legend around here," Carson Wentz said at the time. "He is a future Hall of Famer. We love that guy."

For his insane work ethic, always defending his teammates, his nine Pro Bowls ... these are just some of the reasons why he's so revered in this city.

We can now add this to the list.

Peters has a new custom-made truck commemorating the Eagles and the Super Bowl LII victory over the Patriots.

Good chance Peters will have plenty of honking horns coming his way when he takes this bad boy out on the road.

A car horn will never sound so good.

👀

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Howie Roseman not as concerned with Eagles' salary cap as you

Howie Roseman not as concerned with Eagles' salary cap as you

INDIANAPOLIS — When you win a Super Bowl in storybook fashion, you want to keep everyone involved. Unfortunately, the NFL is nonfiction and what you want oftentimes pales to the reality of real-world stuff like free agency, salary caps, age and injury. And in assistant coaches cases, promotions. People leave, that's life. 

So Howie Roseman is in a tricky spot. Trying to balance hanging on to a core of players who achieved the ultimate in their sport and had great chemistry while also being excellent teammates.

"It's hard to avoid looking at those guys, guys who have done unbelievable things for your team and have great character and separating it from what we need to do going forward," Roseman said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine.

Something's gotta give, though. The Eagles are over the projected salary cap and have some decisions to make not only on players who are free agents but ones under contract as well.

Nigel Bradham, Trey Burton, Patrick Robinson and LeGarrette Blount are among the free agents.

Jason Peters will play at 36 coming off a major injury. Brandon Graham has one year left on his deal but wants a new contract. Brent Celek is the longest tenured Philadelphia athlete but he's a third-stringer who's played 11 seasons and is scheduled to make $4 million in 2018.

On Wednesday at the combine, Roseman made it a point to let everyone know cap restrictions will not dictate his approach.

"We're not on short sale, we're comfortable with our roster, our flexibility to make moves we have to make," Roseman said. "We are not going to make decisions, get rid of good players because of our cap situation." 

Balancing the books is Roseman's wheelhouse, so while things may look bleak on that front now, he's been quite creative in the past in maintaining while also filling out roster needs. But this offseason is a little more tricky than years past. Who will stay? Who will go? Only Howie knows.