The Eagles and Jason Peters have reached a five-year agreement to extend his contract through the 2018 season. The deal is said to be worth $51.3 million with $19.55 million guaranteed.
First, let me say that this is good news. Peters is one of the best tackles in the NFL and had a seamless return from a twice-ruptured Achilles tendon that forced him to miss the 2012 season. Left tackle is also the second most important position on offense.
Deals like this are also good for the morale of the team in that they get the sense that if they play well, they’ll be rewarded.
However, business-wise, I do have to wonder if this was a smart deal for the Eagles in regards to giving a 32 year old player a big contract.
Exact details of how the deal is structured haven’t come out yet, but I would imagine that all of the guaranteed money will be paid over the next two, maybe three seasons.
At 32, how many more years of high caliber play does Peters have left? He almost certainly will not play out the entire contract, which expires after the 2018 season.
Offensive line, by most accounts, has a longer shelf life on average as compared to most other positions (besides kickers and quarterbacks). However, every player’s body is different in how long they can hold up physically.
For comparison purposes, I looked at some of the best offensive tackles that have played in the NFL to see how long their career lasted.
Here are the ages at which each of these top tackles stopped playing. I was a little suprised by what I found…
Walter Jones – 34
Jonathan Ogden – 33
Orlando Pace – 34
Tra Thomas – 34
At the same time, old timers like Bruce Matthews and Jackie Slater played until their upper 30’s (close to 40) before they hung up their cleats. However, the difference with these guys was that they were no where near the size of Peters and the other four guys mentioned above.
The bigger a player is, the sooner their body is more likely to break down…especially the knees.
Matthews and Slater were in the 6′ 5″, 275 lbs range whereas Peters, Ogden, Jones, Pace and Thomas were all 6′ 4″ and above and weighed around 325 lbs or more. That’s at least 50 more pounds they’re carrying.
In essence, the Eagles made this deal with Peters and are banking on him playing three more years at a high level. He’ll be 34 after the 2016 season ends and anything we get after that would be gravy.
Ultimately it’s a good deal as long as Peters can stay healthy and his play doesn’t go on the decline within the next three seasons.