Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

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Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.

He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.

“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”


The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.

There is more to the story, though. It highlights the front office's current way of thinking. They want to take care of their own and reward those who reflect the culture and work ethic that they are trying to establish throughout the program.

"This is a core player for us," said Roseman. "It's an important statement to our football team and our players about what we're going to be about."

An important  statement to our football team. Doesn't get much clearer than that.

You also get the sense that the Eagles are not comfortable with their history when it comes to letting their top talent walk in the latter stages of their career. The queasiness is mostly about Brian Dawkins. The way it ended with No. 2o still haunts this organization. Believe that. On a broader level, it's about separating themselves from a legacy of turning their back on revered figures because their age started with a "3" or they didn't fit into some mathematical formula.

"I think it negates a lot of commonly-held facts about us: that you hit a certain age and we're not going to keep you; that if you are paid a certain amount that we're not willing to pay that to keep you," said Roseman. "We are going to keep -- try to keep, it takes two to tango -- our best players and the guys that we feel are a part of our culture and that fit well into the chemistry of our team on and off the field and in the scheme. It's an important message for us this offseason."

Again, the word message comes up.

This is primarily about the prowess of Peters. But it's a symbolic move as well.

"We talked to you guys this offseason about the names on the back of the jersey meaning something," Roseman said. "When you have a guy like that who has played at this level, has the opportunity to continue to play at this level, you want to keep that guy; you don't want to see him in another jersey playing at a high level, and your players and your fans and the people upstairs saying, 'Why aren't they here anymore?' It is important for us that we have Eagles -- guys that kind of represent our team."

WHAT YOU MISSED

The latest on Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Kelce. 

Chip Kelly's role in the Peters signing.

More details on the Peters deal, including how long the guaranteed money lasts.

A cornerback at 22? Sheil looks at some candidates.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Greg Bedard unveiled 50 of his top 100 projected free agents. He believes Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings and Carolina kicker Graham Gano are fits in Philly.

On Jennings:

Didn’t look the part of a starter last season when given an opportunity. Packers may not tender him at $1.4 million, but he’s flashed some talent. Best fit: Eagles. They need help at safety, and a change of scenery might help him.

And Gano:

Comes off a fantastic season in which he hit 89 percent of his field goals, including all six of 50-plus yards. Even more impressive was his 79.7 percent touchback rate, best in league since 1994. Best fit: Eagles. Alex Henery just wasn’t good enough in any phase.

Who will play slot if Maclin, Cooper and DeSean Jackson are all back? Tommy Lawlor isn't sweating it.

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.

COMING UP

Get the feeling we're in for another busy day?

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  • NickS1

    “…a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.” I have yet to see a better way to describe Jason Peters. Happy to know he’s likely to retire an Eagle, which very possibly won’t be until age 36-37.

    I also love the approach we’re taking. Learning from mistakes is an excellent sign. My question is, does anyone think this sudden lack of fear of the “3″ apply to the market, too, or is it only in the case of long-term Eagles?

    • cliff henny

      remember Runyan and Tra got paid and played well into their 30′s. O-Line is different, can play well with a ’3′. not sure i’m ready for a wide sweeping change.

      • knighn

        Thank you! I didn’t get around to adressing this yesterday. Tra Thomas played until 34 (for the Eagles) and Runyan until 35 (for the Eagles). As good as they were: neither one of those guys were nearly as special as Jason Peters at tackle.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ha hopefully that means Jason plays out his contract

      • NickS1

        I’m not ready for a sweeping change either. Not fearing the “3″ doesn’t mean not respecting the “3″. I think we have the right mindset about it. I guess my question is more about if a premium player who’s still playing a really high level at age 30-31, even 32, what’s the FO’s stance on that going to be? I think with Peters, as well as Runyan and Thomas, these guys were known quantities, so we had all the intel on them imaginable so for the FO it was a no-brainer to pay them.

        • JofreyRice

          Agreed. It needs to be applied judiciously. Cole and Herremans uncuttable contracts show some reason for trepidation when extending older guys.

          • cliff henny

            unfortunately is always circles back to Dawkins, who i’m assuming is pretty much in everyones top5 alltime fav eagle. to pull out a guy on this roster that people arent as emotionally attched to, D Ryans, i’d rather play a 2nd yr player a year early (basically saying draft christian jones this year), than ignore that he’s pushing 30 and has huge cap number. he’s type of guy i could live with having a yr or 2 left in him on another team.
            .
            i can live with extending 30+ guys as long as team has legit plan B behind them.

          • Richard Colton

            Did Christian Jones crap the bed at the combine? I’m seeing him in the 4th and 5th rounds of post combine mocks and we’ve been talking about him in the 3rd. Did RIP Illa just oversell him?

          • Eagles4Life

            I’m still sold. If we can get him in the 4th now, it’s just a bargain.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            i love it personally. some know-nothings who let 40 times swing guys entire rounds, completely arbitrary of those who’ve been studying their game film for years.

        • cliff henny

          meant think it’s position specific. O and D line, can get away with it some. Rosebud starts writing 30+ wrs, dbs and lbs multi-year with sizable guarentees and i’m going to be against it.

          • NickS1

            I agree, however, we know Howie deals are multi-year in face value only. But, I tend to agree, depends the player, and to a large extent, as you said, the position. For example, I still would have made a move for Boldin last year. Do I want a ton of 30yr old receivers? God no. But the special ones should be considered. It’s all about the individual player.

          • aub32

            Boldin didn’t exactly produce much in the regular season in 2012 though. Plus he was getting paid quite a bit. At the time we had DJax, Coop, Mac, and Avant. There really wasn’t room for Boldin, especially with that price tag.

          • NickS1

            I agree, but I take his numbers with a grain of salt. They were more run focused and their offense went stale and they fired Cameron mid season so Flacco could throw more. Then he went nuts when it counted. It was just an example, though. I think we would have reworked his deal if we made the move, but, again, just an example of a 30+ player that became available that you can’t ignore because of being 30.

          • DLRJ

            Mostly agree, butI like Howie’s no formula approach. It isn’t so much what position, but knowing the guy. London Fletcher has certainly shown that some LBs can keep it going well into the 30s.

    • TNA

      The key is to stay balanced. Phillies got into this situation and have gotten a little too far in front of their skis. Experience is good, but can compensate for declining athleticism only so much. Need to find that sweet spot.

      • NickS1

        I completely agree about balance, and as I just said to cliff, not fearing the “3″ doesn’t mean we don’t respect it. I don’t ever see Howing turning into Ruin Tomorrow, Jr.

        • knighn

          That’s one reason the NFL is better than baseball – they don’t guarantee the entire contract (unless it’s Jerry Jones).

          • NickS1

            Haha and let’s be honest, Snyder, too.

          • cliff henny

            not only entire, but he adds to it. i’d sign a 2yr 5m contract with JJ, cause it’ll end up being 7yrs 50m by the time he got done restructuring it

  • G_WallyHunter

    Great article and great read. Gotta love the first line, sums it up pretty well.
    Can always count on the morning fix, keep up the great work.
    O-line is in place, rest will fall into place from there. This O is going to be sooooo scary this year..

    By the way, it says San Francisco safety M.D. Jennings, is it not supposed to be Green Bay safety?

    • Tim McManus

      Yes, good catch. Thanks, brother.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Aknowledged by (one of) the mighty and powerful wizard of Birdz.. life complete.

  • TNA

    Lawlor’s comment about the WRs reflects Chip’s demand that the players really internalize the playbook from all position perspectives. Makes them better individual players, better team players (understanding how all the pieces or routes fit together) and better football players overall. I didn’t think about this before, but there is a premium on players who understand Chip’s system and at this juncture, there is a premium on players they can take to phase 2 (if CK1 – Chip Kelly Year 1). Hence, it makes sense for the team and players to want to stay in-house…Chip-Aid tasted good in year 1, but I’m dying to see this offense evolve some more.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Especially with the Oline in place, jeeze, we’re all salivating that’s for sure.. here’s to hoping it meets expectations. I don’t think any of us doubt that.

    • Maggie

      Agreed. Now let’s see what they do with the D.

  • JofreyRice

    Wow, the connotation of “freak” has changed a lot since the kids used to make fun of my prehensile tail.

    • cliff henny

      you weren’t getting pummeled in gym class by a bunch of barking seniors!

    • knighn

      It all goes back to Rick James.

      • Maggie

        Please no, not Rick James! His use of the word “freak” might not have the same meaning! ;~j

  • Kev_H

    I’m excited by what this approach means. I had a hard time buying in during the Banner era because he seemed to view players as interchangeable cogs. That doesn’t work in football.

    Remember in 2004 Terrell Owens eagerly engineered his way to Philadelphia with a very team friendly deal. He met and exceeded anyone’s expectations and played heroically in the Super Bowl. Imagine how things would have been different if they re-did his deal going into 2005. The Eagles surely would have been a much better team with Owens and his 1200 yard, 12 TD seasons from 2006-2008. But Banner seemed to be more about showing the players he was the boss. I strongly believe the message Banner sent then set the team back nearly 10 years. You sit in the locker room and see teammates give their all, produce, and contribute to wins, only to get knee capped by the nerds upstairs. The change in direction is VERY welcome.

    • Kev_H

      I think Banner would do Peters differently- say he’s not as good as he was, aging, injury history, then milk whatever he could out of his current deal and prematurely send him on his way.

      • Ark87

        Sounds about right, but with one caveat. Banner made offers, but they would be lower than market value. He would push his offer by tearing down the player, you’re old/declining/over-rated, product of our system, etc. The guy could be brilliant in a lot of ways, but just doesn’t get people, or puts no stock in interpersonal effectiveness. It’s as if he has Asperger’s.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Nope, just an ass.

        • Maggie

          Goes along with making coordinators report to him instead of the Head Coach! And maybe with a God complex. Goodell better be careful if he lets Banner into Head Office.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I truly started to despise the FO during the Banner era. Was ecstatic when Lurie got his head out of his ass, realized that the smug persona they were sending to the fan base/media/players was becoming so detrimental to the team & overall franchise health that there was no other alternative but to send Banner packing.

    • Maggie

      Super Bowl aside, the pictures lingering in my mind are TO shortarming 4 or 5 catchable passes a game, and the commercial standing in the locker room blowing off his teammates, team owners, coaches and fans to grab a quickie with a strange blonde. Great lessons for kids. Don’t try too hard and don’t keep your word.

    • FMWarner

      I would back the Owens decision even if we went 0-16. You just can’t set that precedent, especially for a jackass who’s ripping your locker room apart.

      • Kev_H

        Locker room was fine. It’s how Banner treated him that caused trouble. Players saw that and realized what management was all about and the wheels came off the franchise. All they had to do was pay him like a Pro Bowler, rather than try to cash in on his agent’s filing error and everyone would have been happy and the team would have won many more games.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    5 year Deal for Coop. and 7 year Deal for Kelce!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!

  • Eagledelphia

    Just got a espn update 5 years , 25 million for Cooper

    • Token

      5 mil a year? I think thats rich for Cooper. Id guess its backloaded.

    • NickS1

      What’s the guaranteed money?

      • Eagledelphia

        I havent had a chance to see it yet I have a 8 am class right now but I’m sure someone else has by now though

        • NickS1

          I’ve scoured, can’t find the guaranteed number.

      • cliff henny

        we’re so awful…none of even look at the yrs or total value…just tell us guarentees and signing bonus

        • NickS1

          Haha I don’t think it makes us awful, I think it makes us realistic fans. Will Kelce be around for 6 years? Possibly, but we all know it’s not going to be at those numbers. Might be higher or lower but it won’t be those numbers.

          • cliff henny

            yup…just meant we know the score. ESPN just reported eagles paid 62.5m for 2 players…rolling my eyes…eagles arent the cowboys

          • NickS1

            Wow, really? Why do they still continue to spill that garbage? They treat these numbers like baseball/basketball contracts. How the F are you the leader in sports when you can’t even report semi-accurate numbers?

          • aub32

            Because 62.5 M for 2 players as a headline generates page views. Who cares about delivering accurate information if you’re not able to sell ad space.

          • Tikkit

            It’s the whole reason during the “Dream Team” season (may it live in infamy) people were always saying “How the hell do the Eagles still have cap space?” Bad reporting of deals and even worse overall understanding of the rudiments of cap management.

          • aub32

            That’s why we choose to come here and not ESPN.

          • Maggie

            Many upvotes!!!

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Sounds like they could use someone that knows the cap & their way around contracts. Good job for Banner?? Nah, not enough power.

          • NickS1

            He’d require that the anchors report directly to him.

  • aub32

    6 years, 37.5 M for Kelce

    • Eagledelphia

      $37.5 M, max $40.11 M, $13 M guaranteed.

      • aub32

        6 years and only 13 Million guaranteed?? I can’t believe there are fans that don’t love Howie. The guy gets it done.

        • NickS1

          I’ve always loved his contracts. Beginning to love the talent eval and FA approach.

          • aub32

            I think his FA approach has always been good. I don’t fault him for 2011. Babin challenged for the single season sack record. Jenkins was solid and a leader. Nnamdi was praised by so many. Bad coaching decisions, such as holding no one accountable and giving Castillo reigns led to those two terrible seasons.

          • NickS1

            That’s fair. I’ll admit a general saltiness toward the whole debacle of 2011-12 and everyone who was involved in the FO/Coaching, as well as certain players. I’m moving on slowly, and beginning to appreciate Howie.

          • aub32

            I think many share your feelings. I just never saw how the GM could be blamed for players being misused and poorly coached. I view Howie as one of the GMs who will get things done and not put the team in cap hell in the process. That’s not to mention his trading prowess. Demeco for a 4th. DRC and a 2nd for Kolb! (the 2nd which we then turned into Curry and Boykin). I think Howie still has warrants in ARZ for robbery at gun point.

          • Maggie

            I occasionally wonder if Castillo had been LEFT ALONE, without Washburn and others tearing him down, would he have done a better job? Just wondering.

        • Token

          Contracts were never his weakness.

        • Eagledelphia

          Yeah that low of a guaranteed number surprised me as well

        • cliff henny

          say what you want about Howie, but the man knows how to write a contract and manage a cap. 13m guarenteed, 33%, that’s very low. tough to tell, but i’ll bet it’s structured something like a 4yr 25m range. we all know that 37m number means nothing

        • Andy124

          Jedi mind tricks on the agenst and such.

          • Maggie

            Somehow that brings to mind a horrible picture of Howie trying to swing a light saber!

    • NickS1

      Wow!

    • Token

      $13M guaranteed.

      So a top 5 center salary.

      I cant think of that many good centers off the top of my head. Kelce fits exactly what they want to do. Good locker room guy. Tho I think he can still stand to get stronger.

      • aub32

        True, but no one is perfect. I think his athleticism and intelligence make up for his lack of strength.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      5/$25 for Cooper.

  • NickS1

    That ESPN article stated at the very bottom that they’re talking with Maclin but aren’t close. Wonder how true that is.

    • cliff henny

      what more could they know. not like they were all over cooper peters or kelce’s extensions. Howie doesnt negotiate in the media like Banner.

      • NickS1

        I thought about that. But someone said something when spilling the contract details. I read it is as the exact opposite. He’ll probably sign by the end of the weekend.

        • cliff henny

          these are all in-line contracts. even if byrd or ward hit FA, still cant make a pitch. love it. eagles are taking care of guys while rest of division is trying to figure out how field a team

          • NickS1

            Can’t or can, make a pitch?

          • cliff henny

            thanks, def meant can. hopefully Howie gets tired of using his contract pen (after jax and Mac) and switches over to cap cutting machete

          • NickS1

            Bye-bye Chung!…. Haven’t heard a peep about bonuses in these deals. Curious how much dead money each carries in these deals….. just in case Coop has to many Jack n Cokes at another Kenny Concert..

          • cliff henny

            havent heard of SBs either, which is great. seems like these are 2 or 3 yr straight line contracts, no cap gynmastics going on.

    • Token

      Nobody knows. Just guys throwing stuff at the wall. Other reports say they hope to sign within two days.

  • Warhound

    Kelce signs….oh, someone beat me to it…….

  • Token

    What does that Cooper deal mean for Maclin? Im assuming its a certainty Avant is cut soon. Just too much money at WR. Especially if they take one high. How much do we expect Maclin to get?

    You would also think they want to do something about Jacksons absurd 12.5 million cap hit.

    • aub32

      I would think getting something done with Mac takes precedent over lowering Jackson’s cap number. They have plenty of time to deal with DJax, who based off of the JP example should receive a new deal as being a key part to this team. However, I would think they want to get Maclin locked up before he really gets a chance to see what some of these WR needy teams are willing to offer.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      all signs/reports point to Maclin getting just the 1 year deal. I’d imagine maybe 4 or 5 this year

      • Token

        Youd wanna get a 2 yr deal right? Structured so you can cut him next year if he stinks but that allows you to keep him under contract should he come back strong.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          From the team perspective, yes. Don’t know he’d agree to that.

          • aub32

            I’d think you’d make his second year quite the jump in salary so that the guaranteed stays low, but he is enticed to play and perform to reach that 2nd year money.

    • Ark87

      Interestingly enough, signing coop first gives them some leverage on Mac, intentional tactics? hmm…

  • G_WallyHunter

    5 year 25 million for cooper? Damn.. thoughts?

    • cliff henny

      2yrs and how much of that 25m is filler?

      • G_WallyHunter

        Ya good point, looks nice, if 5th year is voidable lets say fifth year is 6 mil.. that makes it a 4 year 19 mil.. which is real nice. Great work Howie!!

    • Token

      Its a couple mil a year higher than I expected. But probably low guaranteed. And the actual cap hit could be closer to 3 million for the first couple year. We will see.

      • G_WallyHunter

        8-10 guaranteed range? I can deal with that

  • Token

    “Working on more detailed contract numbers for Riley Cooper, but 5 years, $25 million is considerably inflated, I’m being told.” – Myths McLane

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    10 mil guaranteed for Coop

    • aub32

      That’s not bad at all. Good money for Coop and gives us a solid guy who can contribute for a few years.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        very good deal. 80% or more of his numbers came in the 10 starts by Nick. imagine 16, should be very productive.

        • aub32

          I expect he will be. I’m glad. I liked Coop prior to this year and thought he had some potential. I’m glad to know that we have someone who can be a very good #3 and come in and play as a #2 if needed. This also gives us some flexibility in the draft, especially if we see reports of a Maclin signing later this week.

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            absolutely

    • cliff henny

      haha, so it’s probably 3yrs, 3.5m per, and last 2 yrs are juiced like jose conseco

      • Token

        Yep thatd be my guess. Should be a good deal.

        • cliff henny

          maybe be more like yrs 1 and 2 4m per, 3rd yr has 2m and if he doesnt work out, Eagles just eat minor dead money. with cap going up, that makes some sense. can eat alot of 1m-1.5m dead, it’s those 8m dead that are killers.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        i feel like today, and days like it, are pseudo-christmas for you

        • cliff henny

          yeah, i’ll be into the beer fridge really soon! brother in law dropped off case of Coors regular, the banquet of beers

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            sam elliott would approve

          • cliff henny

            might have to netflix ‘thank you for not smoking’ and ‘the big labowski’

          • Maggie

            FYI. The shenanigans that go on.

            “The Molson Brewery was formed in in Montreal in 1786. In 2005, Molson merged with US-based Coors to form Molson Coors Brewing Company, the world’s seventh-largest brewing company. The Canadian division of the Molson Coors Brewing Company is Molson-Coors Canada Inc..
            Through partnerships with other major brewers, Molson Coors Canada also offers a diverse portfolio of beer brands, including Coors Light, Corona, Miller Genuine Draft, Heineken, Foster’s Lager and Tiger.

            Molson Coors is dual headquartered, with head offices located in Denver, Colorado & Montreal, Quebec. The Canadian operational headquarters are located in Toronto.

            United Kingdom headquarters are in Burton upon Trent.
            The operations of Molson Coors in Brazil were sold to the Mexican group FEMSA in 2006.

            On October 9, 2007, SABMiller and Molson Coors agreed to combine their U.S. operations in a joint venture called Miller Coors. SABMiller is to own 58% of the unit, which is to operate in the U.S. and Puerto Rico but not Canada, where Molson Coors is strongest. Molson Coors is to own 42%, but the parties are to have equal voting power.”
            This info is from Wikipedia.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    great tweet by kelce and the boys..Birdgang

    MT @Jkelce: About to lift weights w/@RileyCooper_14 @toddherremans @ConnorBarwin98 @jmac_18 @BrentCelek. Nothing’s changed,Thank you Philly!

    • aub32

      I love that our guys are remaining our guys. Why let talent walk out of the door.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        great to have guys that work hard and understand the fan base. talented guys

    • knighn

      “So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said, ‘That’s good! One less thing.’”

      • NickS1

        I feel like not enough people are either understanding or appreciating this reference. This is gold.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Dammit, I know it. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. I wanna say it’s a Peschi line from Casino but something has me saying no that’s not it.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Ok, I got it finally there BubbaGump.

  • Amar (India)

    Now I’m wondering, did Sports science play a bigger role in this signing than we would expect ? No one in their right mind would sign a 31 yr old LT to a max contract. Only the Eagles knew with Sports science they can get an extra couple of years of high level play from Peters.

  • FMWarner

    I like the Peters signing, but I’m afraid that the team is going to stop making very sound decisions like letting Dawkins walk because of fan blowback.