A Closer Look at the Jason Peters Trade and Questions Surrounding It

Written By Bob Cunningham On Friday, April 17, 2009
UPDATE: Peters has received a 6-year, $60 million deal from the Philadelphia Eagles after their trade with the Buffalo Bills. Michael Lombardi reported the deal also includes $24 million guaranteed.

In case you live under a rock, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded for LT Jason Peters.

The Eagles have agreed in principle to trade their 1st round (28th), 4th round, and an undisclosed selection next year in 2010.

Peters looks to become the highest paid left tackle in the NFL and it's being reported that he and the Eagles have agreed in principle to a deal that would do just that. At this point, the highest paid LT is Jordan Gross who will be making around nine million dollars annually.

My guess is that Peters will get a deal somewhere in the ballpark of five to six years, and between $55 and $65 million with about $32-$35 in guaranteed money.

On the surface, this is a fantastic trade for the Eagles and it significantly improves their offensive line. However, this a trade that could go very wrong, very quickly.

When you look at this line now, it screams "best in the league!" This is not to say that maybe it won't be, but another possibility is presenting itself.

What if Jason Peters doesn't feel motivated to play?

The biggest gripe with Peters is the fact that he sometimes just doesn't feel like playing football and that it then affects his play on the field, something Andy Reid won't put up with for very long.

Peters is a Pro Bowl caliber player and obviously is worth everything that the Eagles are giving up for him, but again only if he can get over the mental aspect.

Unfortunately, this sounds like another high-priced Pro Bowl caliber player the Eagles have along that offensive line.

Yeah, you guessed it. Shawn Andrews.

Both of these guys are players who no defense in the league want to face. These are guys who strike fear into defensive coordinators, because they know they now need to find a way to blitz through a brick wall.

But again, these are also guys who can be revolving doors if not in the proper mental state.

Neither Peters nor Andrews had a particularly good 2008 season, and both of them came for the same reason: mental weakness.

Yes, they both had injuries, but the injuries really only came as a result of the weakened mental resolve that these players showed through the '08 season.

Peters only played in 13 games last year, while Andrews could only play in two.

If these two players can overcome their mental hurdles, then the Eagles' line will be in great shape and a top-five unit at the very least. If they cannot, the Eagles will have a year filled with nothing but frustration trying to cover the holes created by two Pro Bowl players who can't get their minds right.

And not the good kind of holes you expect from two Pro Bowl linemen, either.

Ripple Effect the Trade Causes

Q: Does this automatically take the Eagles out of the running for receiver Anquan Boldin?

A: No, not necessarily. The Eagles still have a first and third-round pick, exactly what the Cardinals are asking in exchange for Boldin.

Now, that does not mean the Eagles will pull the trigger on the deal. Reports have come out from every which way that the Eagles are very close to a deal for Boldin but they may have no merit.

Everyone in Philly is hoping this goes down. The city would be just fine without a first round pick if it means adding a Pro Bowl left tackle and wide receiver.

Q: What do the Eagles do with their other first-round (21st) pick?

A: They could go in any number of directions, including Knowshon Moreno or perhaps Brandon Pettigrew if he were to fall that far (interesting sidenote: Pettigrew was in Philly today for a visit).

The other possibility is the obvious one of trading for Boldin as mentioned above. However, and unfortunately, that's not the way the front office operates here in Philadelphia. They covet their draft picks, and rightfully so. But now it's time for them to ask themselves: Can we get a player of Boldin's stature with the 21st pick?

Their answer should be: Eh, probably not. What's Mr. Graves' phone number?

Q: What happens if Peters gets his money, then doesn't feel like playing?

A: He won't be in Philly for very long.

As addressed earlier, Peters has had a problem on the mental and motivational aspect of football for a couple years, and some fans are worried this could carry over down south here in Philly.

First off, even for me, this is really just thinking out loud and being a pessimistic fan. That's all it should be for everyone else as well. Peters should be just fine considering the change of scenery, big money, and being able to play for a team with a winning tradition over the past decade.

However, worst case scenario: Peters doesn't play up to par and the Eagles move him within the next two years. Reid and company have shown they have no problem moving a high-price player if he's not producing the way he should. See: Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse.

In all, this is a great move by the Eagles (not so much for the Bills, but let Bills fans discuss that amongst themselves. I'm not here to rub salt) for the future of this team and for next season.

And to the people who complained last season about trading out of the first round, it would appear as though we've essentially traded Jeff Otah for Jason Peters and DeSean Jackson. I'll take that, won't you? Give the Front Office its props.

There's no doubt that this move makes the Eagles better and should create some excitement in the locker room and in the streets.

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