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February 07, 2018

Pederson: Gun to my head... Jason Peters will be Eagles' starting left tackle next year

It seems that every year recently during the Philadelphia Eagles' offseason, there are questions as to whether or not the aging Jason Peters can continue to play at a high level. And then every year he does.

In January, Peters turned 36, far beyond the normal life expectancy of an offensive tackle, much less one coming off an ACL and MCL tear in his knee. Still, if forced to answer, Doug Pederson believes that Peters will be his starting left tackle in 2018.

"He's a Pro Bowl left tackle," Pederson said. "Guys like that, in my opinion, they can go out when they want to go out. I respect him and what he's done and how he's working right now through injury. If you had to hold a gun to my head, I'd say, ‘Yeah, he's my starting left tackle.’"

After Peters went down in October, Halapoulivaati Vaitai filled in for him at left tackle. At times during the regular season Vaitai struggled, but he elevated his game significantly during the playoffs, most notably when he shut down star Vikings edge rusher Everson Griffen. 

Should Peters return and be close to the Pro Bowl-level performer he was in 2017 before he got hurt, the Eagles' already outstanding offensive line, both in terms of the starters and depth, would be strengthened even further.

As always, money will be a factor. Peters is scheduled to count for $10,666,666 against the salary cap in 2018. The Eagles reportedly asked Peters to take a pay cut last offseason, which he declined. Peters eventually worked out a contract extension that runs thorough the 2019 season.

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