Jason Peters has a new team for the first time in over a decade.
Peters, 39, has agreed to contract terms to join the Chicago Bears, his agency, Elite Loyalty Sports, announced on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier this offseason, Peters made it clear that he wanted his NFL career to continue and acknowledged it likely wouldn’t be in Philadelphia. So for the first time since he was traded to Philadelphia from Buffalo back in 2009, Peters is not an Eagle.
While Peters struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons, he’ll go down as an all-timer. Peters made seven Pro Bowl teams with the Eagles (nine total) and was an All-Pro in 2011 and 2013. He was a Hall of Fame caliber left tackle for many seasons and if he ends up in Canton, he’ll be most closely associated with the Eagles.
Last season, Peters played and started in eight games at both left tackle and right guard. He dealt with a foot injury that limited him throughout the year.
The Eagles initially planned to move on from Peters after the 2019 season but brought him back last year to play right guard after Brandon Brooks tore his Achilles. Peters eventually moved to left tackle — and got paid to do it — after Andre Dillard went down during training camp.
The Eagles held on to Peters too long, which might have tarnished his legacy some in Philadelphia. But he’s still an all-time great.
The Eagles traded for Peters in April of 2009, giving up a 1st-round pick, a 4th-round pick and a conditional 6th. The trade is unquestionably one of the best in franchise history.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy was with the Eagles in 2009 when the trade went down. And he was on the coaching staff for the first several years of Peters’ career in Philly, as was Doug Pederson, who visited with Nagy and the Bears at training camp last week. Peters will also be reunited with his former OL coach Juan Castillo in Chicago.
This summer is the first time the Eagles have been without Peters in training camp since 2008 and it’s been a little weird. Another Eagles legend, Jason Kelce, talked about Peters at length earlier this summer.
“You know, everybody knows about his ability to play,” he said. “Eventual Hall of Fame, the best player I’ve played with. Just a tremendous, tremendous player.
“But he never really got the credit he deserved from a leadership standpoint. He might not have been a vocal guy, he never really liked talking to you guys much, but he loved talking to young guys, he loved staying after practice, he loved talking in the weight room.
“He was around the building constantly. To have a guy that’s been around that long, to see how much he put into it, not just physically but mentally how available he was to the organization and the building and his teammates. That’s rare to find, especially with an older guy. So we’re going to miss all of that. We’re not going to be able to replace it.”
Peters’ story is truly amazing. He went undrafted out of Arkansas as a tight end in 2004 but eventually switched positions to offensive tackle and became a Pro Bowler in Buffalo. But a contract dispute made him available and the Eagles pounced.
While Peters wasn’t in uniform for Super Bowl LII after he suffered a torn ACL that ended his 2017 season, he was still an integral part of that team. And his constant coaching of Halapoulivaati Vaitai helped the young offensive lineman fill his shoes.
If you’re wondering, Peters’ contract will not count toward the compensatory pick formula. We’re past that date.
Back in Philly, the Eagles have been holding a competition to fill the void at left tackle. The competitors are Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard. It has been very clear through 12 practices and one preseason game that Mailata is running away with it.
Mailata could be the next in a line of left tackles after soon-to-be Eagles Hall of Famer Tra Thomas and Peters.
Here’s a list of Eagles from 2020 who have found jobs elsewhere this offseason:
Nickell Robey-Coleman (Lions)
Cre’Von LeBlanc (Dolphins)
Jalen Mills (Patriots)
Rudy Ford (Jaguars)
Cam Johnston (Texans)
Duke Riley (Dolphins)
Malik Jackson (Browns)
DeSean Jackson (Rams)
Vinny Curry (Jets)
Nate Sudfeld (49ers)
Nathan Gerry (49ers — since released)
Corey Clement (Giants)
Treyvon Hester (Bills)
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