EAGLES

A Hall of Fame career likely comes to an end

EAGLES

After 17 years, 213 games, nine Pro Bowls and literally thousands of thunderous blocks, this looks like the end of Jason Peters’ brilliant career.

Doug Pederson said Friday morning Peters will undergo season-ending surgery to repair an injured toe.

“He’s done everything he can for this football team,” Pederson said. “I’ll tell you what, I appreciate Jason Peters a lot. He means a lot to me personally not only on the field but off the field. He wanted to be out there with his teammates for the remainder of the season, but it’s at the point where the injury is too bad for him to continue.”

Pederson said Peters did not indicate whether he hopes to continue his career beyond this year, although he has been increasingly hampered by injuries and inconsistent play the last several years and turns 39 next month.

This will be the third time in the last four years Peters has ended the season on Injured Reserve. 

Peters has already missed four games this year and 20 games since he suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the 2017 Super Bowl season. 

By the end of this year, he will have missed 24 of the Eagles’ last 55 games and missed significant snaps in eight other games.

Considering Peters' recent injury history and the drop-off in performance, it’s hard to imagine Peters returning to the NFL for an 18th season in 2021.

It's impossible to imagine it happening here, with Brooks expected back at right guard and Dillard and Jordan Mailata both under expected back to handle left tackle.

 

And Peters has said he hopes to end his career with the Eagles. He was on the open market this past offseason for several months and didn't sign anywhere until the Eagles were desperate.

If this indeed is the end, the final snap of Peters’ brilliant career would have come early in the third quarter of the Eagles’ loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday, when he hobbled off the field and was replaced by Nate Herbig.

If this is it for Peters, he will become the first player to make six or more Pro Bowls as an Eagle to finish his career as an Eagle since Chuck Bednarik in 1962.

Peters will go down as one of the most decorated Eagles in history and one of the most honored left tackles in the history of the game.

Peters was a tight end at Arkansas and caught 21 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns for the Razorbacks in 2003.

He signed with the Bills as an undrafted rookie tight end but quickly converted to offensive tackle and became a full-time starter at right tackle in 2005 before moving to left tackle in 2006.

He made two Pro Bowls in Buffalo in 2007 and 2008 before the Eagles orchestrated a blockbuster trade with the Bills just before the 2009 draft. 

With Peters and the Bills at a contract impasse, the Eagles sent the Bills 1st- and 4th-round picks in 2009 and a 6th-round pick in 2010 and immediately signed him to a four-year contract extension worth $51 million.

Over the next eight years, Peters made seven more Pro Bowls, missing out only in 2012, when he missed the entire season with an Achilles injury. He was a first-team all-pro in 2011 and 2013.

Peters received the highest honor a player can receive short of the Hall of Fame when he was named to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 2010’s.

The only undrafted player in NFL history named to more Pro Bowls teams is Raiders Hall of Famer center Jim Otto. 

The only offensive tackles named to more Pro Bowls are Anthony Munoz of the Bengals (11), Jonathan Ogden of the Ravens (11), Willie Roaf of the Saints and Chiefs (11) and Joe Thomas of the Browns (10). All are Hall of Famers except Thomas, who retired after the 2017 season and isn’t eligible yet.

Peters is one of nine offensive tackles named to nine Pro Bowl teams. Of the seven who are eligible for the Hall of Fame, only Jim Tyrer, who played for the Dallas Texans-Kansas City Chiefs franchise from 1961 through 1974, is not in the Hall of Fame.

Any player who plays his final game in 2020 is eligible for the 2025 Hall of Fame voting process, which becomes the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2026.

No offensive lineman who spent more than half his career with the Eagles has ever been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Chuck Bednarik did play center in parts of five seasons but was inducted as a linebacker.

 

The only other offensive linemen who played for the Eagles and have gone into the Hall of Fame are Alex Wojciechowicz, Jim Ringo and Bob Brown. None of them spent more than five seasons with the Eagles.

Brown spent 1964 through 1968, the first five years of his 10-year NFL career, with the Eagles and was inducted in 2004.

Ringo, who spent the last four years of his 15-year career with the Eagles, was inducted in 1981.

And Wojciechowicz, who was with the Eagles from the middle of 1946 through 1950 after 8 1/2 seasons with the Lions, was inducted in 1968.

In all, 24 of 30 eligible players who have made exactly nine Pro Bowls have eventually been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Peters has earned about $104 million since joining the Eagles. That’s the most money any Eagle has ever earned, nearly $20 million more than Fletcher Cox and $30 million more than Donovan McNabb.

Peters made his last Pro Bowl in 2016 and has never been quite the same since suffering a torn ACL during a game against Washington halfway through the 2017 Super Bowl season.

He came back in 2018 and played well, but it was his first full season without making the Pro Bowl since 2006. He missed the end of last year with a toe injury and the Eagles did not intend to bring him back until Brandon Brooks suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. 

The Eagles signed Peters to replace Brooks at right guard, but when Andre Dillard suffered a season-ending biceps injury Peters moved back to his old left tackle spot after asking for and receiving a pay raise.

But Peters’ play had declined so much he eventually moved back inside to guard for a couple games before finally shutting down for the season.

And likely much longer.

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