Eagles sign All-Pro LT Jason Peters to 5-year deal
Veteran overcomes injury to anchor an offensive line
Jason Peters will protect the quarterback's blind side for quite a while longer in Philadelphia.
The All-Pro left tackle agreed to a five-year contract with the Eagles on Wednesday. Peters was signed for 2014, and his new deal adds four years through 2018. Overall, the contract is worth about $50 million US.
"They didn't want to risk losing me and I didn't want to go anywhere, and I let them know that," Peters said. "I want to retire here. I love this organization. I love Philly."
The feeling is mutual.
"There aren't many people cut from the same cloth as Jason Peters," coach Chip Kelly said. "To be able to bounce back from two Achilles injuries and return to an All-Pro level speaks not only to his incredible athleticism, but proves just how hard he works at his game. Having him at left tackle provides a lot of comfort to our quarterback and to our entire offence. He's a guy that many players look up to in our locker room."
The 32-year-old Peters is a six-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time All-Pro. Peters missed the entire 2012 season after twice rupturing an Achilles tendon, but he returned to anchor an offensive line that helped the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing. All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise-best 1,607 yards, and Pro Bowl quarterback Nick Foles had a breakout year behind Peters and Co.
"I told y'all I was at 100 per cent coming into the season," Peters said. "I felt very good. They obviously think (I'm worth it) or they wouldn't have given me the contract. I'm definitely going to live up to it."
The Eagles appear set on their offensive line. Lane Johnson, a first-round pick last year, played well as a rookie at right tackle. Left guard Evan Mathis was an All-Pro, centre Jason Kelce is one of the top centres in the league, and right guard Todd Herremans is signed through 2016.
Peters is the cornerstone.
"Jason is everything you look for in a left tackle," general manager Howie Roseman said. "The unique blend of size, speed and athleticism that Jason possesses is something that everyone wants in an offensive lineman. However, what really makes him unique is his desire to improve day in and day out despite the fact that he's played at an elite level for so many years. We are truly rewarding Jason's excellence."
Peters was an undrafted free agent signed by Buffalo and converted from tight end. He played his first five seasons with the Bills before coming to Philadelphia in a trade in 2009 and establishing himself as one of the premier left tackles in the NFL.
Now he's already being talked about as a Hall of Fame candidate with several years left in his career.
"I got a $5,000 signing bonus in Buffalo," Peters said. "I never thought this would happen. I believed in myself. This is a dream come true."