Extra Points: Peters Now Part of Changing of the Guard for Eagles
A letter proved to be the most intriguing aspect of the Eagles' decision to re-sign Jason Peters Tuesday.
Upon announcing the veteran offensive lineman would be returning to the team on a one-year contract, the team included a picture and put a "G" next to it in referencing his position.
For 16 years, Peters was always listed with a "T," as in offensive tackle. Specifically, he's played left tackle his entire NFL career, including the last 11 seasons with the Eagles.
Now he's being asked to change positions, at least initially.
If the Eagles open training camp on July 28 as scheduled, Peters will be the starting right guard. He'll be stepping in for Brandon Brooks, who will miss the entire season - if there is a season - after rupturing his right Achilles tendon during a workout last month.
But there's also the possibility that he could slide back over to left tackle in the event Andre Dillard struggles to keep Carson Wentz upright and conscious.
Dillard, the team's 2019 first-round draft pick, was inconsistent in his brief playing time as a rookie, though to be fair, most of his bad plays came at right tackle against Seattle late in the season. Dillard had never played or practiced on the right side in his football life, yet somehow offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and coach Doug Pederson determined he would be an adequate replacement for injured Lane Johnson.
He was benched at halftime.
The Eagles didn't appear too enthusiastic about bringing Peters back at first. They allowed him to pursue a deal with another team via free agency a few months back, a sign they were ready to move on. That changed when Brooks, one of the best guards in the league, got hurt again.
Matt Pryor was considered the likely candidate to play right guard, but it makes a modicum of sense to bring Peters back, considering the lack of offseason work the offensive line received due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Players were banned from participating in workouts, minicamps and OTAs, thus forcing them to wait to training camp to develop continuity and chemistry. Veteran leadership will help and Peters definitely fits that role.
As of Tuesday afternoon, however, the Eagles had other problems to worry about.
Philadelphia city officials announced that all large public gatherings would be prohibited through February of 2021 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
That means no Broad Street Run in October, no Thanksgiving Parade and even no New Year's Day Mummer's Parade, which was last canceled in 1934.
And potentially no fans at Eagles games this season.
Professional sports events such as Eagles and Phillies games are listed as exempt from the city's moratorium, but Philadelphia Heath Commissioner Thomas Farley and soon-to-be-former Managing Director Brian Abernathy contradicted that in interviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"The Eagles are still going to be allowed to play, although without crowds," Abernathy said. "(NFL rules) remind teams that local authorities have the ability to ban fans, so I don’t expect any issues. ... We have been in communication with the Eagles. We have told them our expectations are that they don’t have fans."
The Eagles had no comment on the matter Tuesday. Previously, when it became apparent that the seating capacity at Lincoln Financial Field would be reduced, they offered season-ticket holders the option of deferring their seats to the 2021 season without penalty.
According to Forbes Magazine, the Eagles would stand to lose $204 million in revenue if fans are banned from attending home games. That would include ticket revenue, concessions, parking and corporate sponsors, among other items.
The city's decision puts the onus on the league to likewise ban fans from all NFL stadiums in order to level the playing fields.
The absence of spectators would take away the Eagles' homefield advantage at the Linc. It would likewise be unfair for them to play road games in stadiums where the Cowboys, Giants, and other opponents had fans to support them.
An Eagles-Cowboys game at the Linc just wouldn't be the same without hearing "Cowboys suck" chants echoing through the stands every 10 minutes.