The Eagles decided not to wait until free agency began to make a splash. Today they extended the contract of LT Jason Peters, adding 5 years and a reported $51.3M. Les Bowen lists the guaranteed money as $19.55M, most of which will come in the next 2 years. Les also wrote about the complexity of the deal.
“That was one of the biggest hurdles, getting over,” Taylor said Wednesday, after the Eagles announced a five-year extension with their six-time Pro Bowl left tackle, which will pay $51.3 million if Peters is still an Eagle in 2018 (and the pact isn’t renegotiated.) Peters, 32, will be 36 in 2018. About $19.55 million is guaranteed, most of that money in the next two seasons. “Howie will tell you. Had nothing to work off of. Talked to the NFLPA today, they said that’s the highest guarantee for any o-lineman at 32 years old or above. We just had to look at it almost like the pink elephant — what is it worth to you? It may not be worth much to the next person, but what is it worth to you? And they felt like, hey, that’s what he’s worth to us, and we settled.”
This situation worked well for both sides. The Eagles really wanted to keep Peters. And Jason really wanted to stay. I wasn’t sure how the Eagles would feel about Peters. He did make the Pro Bowl this year, but didn’t play at the same level he did in 2011. Would they view him as a declining player or someone that did well despite coming off a significant achilles injury. Obviously they went with the latter option.
This is a really interesting move because it gives the Eagles stability at the OT position for the near future. Peters might not play all 5 years, but could be here for at least the next 3. Lane Johnson is the RT for the next few years. Allen Barbre is the short term answer as the backup OT. The Eagles do need a young player to develop for the future, but they don’t have to go get that player this year. Bowen did ask Howie Roseman what the team would do if the highest rated player on the board at 22 is an OT. Roseman didn’t flinch and said the Eagles would take the OT. As the Eagles found out in 2012, you do need good backup OTs. Ideally the team would find a mid-round OT who could also play OG if needed.
The Peters deal is not the only news of the day.
League source tells me Riley Cooper will sign a 4-year deal tomorrow with Eagles. @Jeff_McLane and PFT reported today that deal was close.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) February 27, 2014
Maclin, the fifth-year receiver, is set to become a free agent on March 8 but the league source said both sides are “talking and making progress.” Still, the deal isn’t done and Maclin could still elect to test free agency before making his decision.
The Kelce multiyear extension could be announced as early as Thursday morning, followed by an afternoon news conference. Cooper, who is slated to become a free agent on March 11, is also expected to receive a multiyear deal that may be announced this week.
My take on all of this…great news.
Peters is still a very good LT. He’s also a key leader for the team. Jason Kelce is one of the best young Centers in the league and is another important leader. Keeping them is also crucial because Chip Kelly needs a top OL for his offense to work.
As to the WRs, keeping both Mac and Coop is ideal. This gives the Eagles 3 starting caliber talents. If someone gets hurt, the other 2 can keep the offense rolling at a high level. Mac and DeSean Jackson have the speed to stretch the defense. Cooper isn’t as fast, but proved to be a good downfield receiver this year. He used his size and did a great job of tracking deep balls.
Kelly’s offense doesn’t use the slot receiver in a standard way. I don’t think a trio of DJax, Mac and Coop would have functioned all that well in Andy Reid’s offense. Kelly uses his receivers differently so the slot guy doesn’t play in traffic and just work the middle of the field. Kelly had Coop and DJax play outside and inside last year.
Maclin isn’t a sure thing to re-sign, but it certainly sounds hopeful. He’s likely settling for a short term deal so this isn’t going to solve the position long term. The Eagles could still add a WR in the draft. I’d prefer a speedy guy with return skills. The Eagles still have some big guys in Arrelious Benn and Brad Smith to challenge for roster spots.
I didn’t expect a Wednesday in late February to be so cool. Rather than throwing money at free agents from other teams, I’m glad the Eagles are taking this route. Keep your best players together as long as you can (and as long as they play at high level).